Leola Earns Honor for Student Achievement

Leola Elementary received national recognition for its efforts in improving student achievement.

The school was one of only two in South Dakota named a National Title I Distinguished School. It was picked for its work closing the achievement gap between the district’s disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged student groups

“To be recognized by our state and then at the National Title I Convention reinforces that what we are doing for kids must be working,” Superintendent Brian Heupel said. “As a school you are always working to do what is best for all students.”

“It is what we are here to do.”

The school focused on interventions on disadvantaged students to provide them with the successes and did not permit environments, social economic status or other factors act as barriers to educating students.

“Our philosophy is all students are capable of learning and we want to break down the barriers that some of our disadvantage population students encounter,” Heupel said.

“Once these barriers are removed these students have an equal opportunity to learn.”

Leola Elementary School was recognized at the Title I National Convention in February for their efforts, which enhanced the feeling of pride the community has in their school and education system.

“The community was excited and proud of the recognition,” Heupel said.

“They want the message to be out there that we have a good school system and provide quality education even if we are a small school.”