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Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Students at Washington Elementary hold their new banner honoring them as a Title 1 Distinguished School on Wednesday.

Washington Elementary honored for gains

Students, staff, parents, state officials and Fort Wayne Community Schools leaders celebrated at Washington Elementary School on Wednesday as the school was named a Title I Distinguished School.

Washington, the only school in Indiana to receive the award, was recognized for closing the achievement gap between minority and majority students.

"The staff of Washington Elementary is extremely dedicated to making sure each child is educated to high standards each and every day," Washington Principal J.R. Ankenbruck said.

Washington's free- and reduced-price lunch rate is 94 percent and the school receives support from local families and community organizations, Ankenbruck said.

The national award comes with a $25,000 grant from the Indiana Department of Education and an opportunity for staff to present at the Indiana Title I Conference and the National Title I Conference in San Diego later this year.

Each year, the National Title I Association recognizes two schools in each state, one for closing the achievement gap between student groups – the award Washington Elementary received – and a second school is recognized for exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years.

This year, the exceptional student performance award was granted to Miami Elementary School in Lafayette, according to the association's website.

For more on this story see Thursday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or return to after 3 a.m. Thursday.