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Dear Editor,

Congratulations to Chadron Public School’s (CPS) students, teachers, staff, administrators, BOE and community on receiving the Nebraska Rural Community Schools (NRCSA) Closing the Achievement Gap Award in Math and Science. This is a very special honor and one that takes intensive teamwork to accomplish.

Why is closing an achievement gap such a huge accomplishment? For this to occur the targeted population (in this case free or reduced students) needs to improve skills at a faster rate than the general population.

Why is this challenging? Some students in this population may have only recently moved to Chadron, English may be a second language for them, or they may be experiencing a challenging home environment,

How do we keep this going? There are the usual things: research-based curriculum done with fidelity, alignment of curriculum both horizontally and vertically with state standards and assessments, and quality staff. In addition we benefit from numerous community partnerships that provide additional opportunities for our students such as: preschool, afterschool programs, tutoring, mentoring, weekend food backpacks, and medical assistance just to name a few.

But most importantly the achievement gap narrows because of positive relationships with quality caring adults in student’s lives. It is about understanding it’s not just my children but all of the students are OUR children.

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So community members take a bow along with the CPS students and staff and at the same time continue to be a positive, caring role model in the lives of all of our students until EVERY child experiences hope and the knowledge that they have the opportunity to succeed.

Dr. Caroline B. Winchester, Superintendent

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