National Award

Staff, students, parents, and volunteers at Salina Elementary were surprised with an assembly Friday afternoon where they were recognized as a National Distinguished School by the state education agency in Utah.

              Salina Elementary is one of only 100 schools throughout the country that is being nationally recognized for exceptional student achievement in 2021. Utah has 348 Title 1 schools, and only two were selected statewide for doing exemplary work.  Salina Elementary was honored in Category 1, which is for exceptional student performance and academic growth for two or more consecutive years.

              The other school honored in Utah was in category 3, Mountain View Elementary in Salt Lake District, for excellence in serving special populations of students. It was selected for improving outcomes for its students who are multilingual learners.

              Superintendent of Schools Cade Douglas, who made the presentation, praised the students and educators at Salina Elementary for this “really neat honor”.

“Salina Elementary teachers, staff, administration, are truly amazing,” said Douglas. “They really work with those students who are not quite academically on level and help them surpass and hit targets. They work very hard to fill these holes! This is an amazing community that supports and loves their children and their schools, and those relationships, that trust, is really what is behind all this.”

              The Superintendent said when he was principal at Salina Elementary several years prior, there was 100% attendance at parent teacher conferences year in and year out, and he’s never seen anything like it, and the same holds true today.  He praised Principal Krahenbuhl, the teachers, and staff, and said when looking at the data, Salina Elementary educators are doing phenomenal work. 

              “I know Mr. Krahenbuhl works closely with the other principals in the district, and they all collaborate and share what is working for them.  Every school has pockets of greatness and by sharing that data, the other schools learn and grow by implementing what works.  Sharing and collaborating is key, and Salina Elementary has really done an exceptional job of doing this. This award is specific to exceptional performance and growth, and it’s a real honor. I hope this community really celebrates the heck out of it!”

              “This really is a team award,” said Salina Elementary Principal Krahenbuhl.  “The special education department is an important part of this, and they work hard with the interventions.  It’s the little things that every single person here does day in and day out.  The community is amazing and there’s so much support.  We have amazing teachers, staff, parents, and students; I’m thankful for the people we have.”

              Salina Elementary was nominated by state school officials for demonstrating a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success, and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community.  What makes National ESEA Distinguished Schools’ stories especially powerful are the documented student achievement gains that have resulted from their collaborative and targeted efforts and innovations. 

              The State Board of Education ranks the Title I schools from highest to lowest based on the total points earned in the Accountability System, giving points for student achievement, student growth, EL progress, and growth of the lowest performing 25% of students.

              Salina Elementary has been in the top 5% or top 10% of schoolwide Title I schools in Utah for two or more consecutive years. 

Salina Elementary was built in 1960 with a major gym and office addition in 2001.  57% of the teachers have a master’s degree or higher and 100% are degreed for their teaching assignment.

In addition, third grade students scored at or above 90% on the Language Arts section of the Utah State End-of-Level Test, and for the past 4 years, over 90% of the students are reading at grade level by 3rd grade!

In a 2006 study on education in the state of Utah, Salina Elementary School was ranked number 4 in overall Reading/Language Arts among Utah elementary schools, and every teacher, every subject, entire school made AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress).

              Heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things… Our school is full of them.

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Lora Fielding

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