"This is quite an honor!" he said in an emailed statement. "We are extremely proud of our staff and students and the effort and hard work that they put in on a daily basis."
He said criteria for the honor included that Union Grove Elementary was a Title I, Part 'A' campus from 2009-12; that at least 40 percent of its student body was low-income in 2011-12; that it met AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress) requirements for 2011-12; that it received a state "exemplary" rating in spring 2011; and that it received an exemplary or recognized rating for the 2009 and 2010 school years.
Title I is a federal distinction, meaning the school has a certain percentage of low socio-economic students and receives federal dollars to help provide them services, Gray explained.
AYP is part of the "No Child Left Behind" educational plan, he said. "To meet AYP we have to have our kids (as well as all sub-populations) score at certain levels on all standardized testing," he wrote.