By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU – Two Wausau elementary schools are among 178 in Wisconsin recognized this week for success in educating students from low income families.

G.D. Jones and Thomas Jefferson Elementary Schools both made the list, released Friday by State Superintendent Tony Evers. This is the eighth consecutive year that Thomas Jefferson has earned the honor.

“These schools stand out for their efforts to educate our kids,” Evers said. “They are staffed by dedicated educators who work with parents, families, and the school community to support the needs of all kids through rigorous programming and attention to student needs.”

All award-winning schools receive federal Title I funding to provide services to high numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children. During the May 1 ceremony at the State Capitol, the state superintendent will recognize 21 High-Achieving schools and 21 High-Progress schools as identified by results from 2015-16 statewide assessments; nine schools will be recognized for earning both High-Achieving and High-Progress honors.

Both Wausau schools named are identified as “Beating the Odds” schools, which are in the top 25 percent of high poverty schools in the state and have above average student achievement in reading and mathematics compared to similar schools.

“In our data driven society, it’s easy to dismiss a school by looking at its demographic makeup. These schools would not be ‘expected’ to have the student academic achievement and gap closing results they have because of high levels of poverty,” Evers said. “Their success is something to celebrate; it serves as an example of the importance of schools, families, and communities working together to ensure that every child graduates ready for college and careers.”