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Tramway Elementary School's Exemplary Service to Students with Disabilities Recognized by NCFEPA and NAESEA

Tramway staff pose with the 2023 NCESEA Distinguished School RecongintionGREENSBORO, NC – Tramway Elementary School recently received recognition from the North Carolina Association of Federal Education Program Administrators (NCFEPA) as one of the state's "Distinguished Schools" for their exceptional dedication to students with disabilities. Principal Andrea Cummings and Lee County Schools Director of Federal Programs, Ricky Secor, proudly accepted this honor on behalf of the school at the NCFEPA's Fall Conference Luncheon in Greensboro.

The Distinguished Schools recognition is part of the North Carolina Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) program, organized by the National ESEA State Program Administrators Network (NAESEA). This award is designed to acknowledge federally-funded schools that have made significant educational advancements and achieved outstanding academic success among their students.

This prestigious award highlights schools in three specific categories, and Tramway Elementary School was chosen for its remarkable service to special populations, specifically, students with disabilities.

Principal Cummings emphasized the invaluable partnership between the school and the NC Center for Resilience and Learning, which has played a crucial role in creating a safe and supportive learning environment for every student. The focus of this initiative is on reducing the impact of stress and trauma while fostering a school community where each child feels valued.

"Our partnership with the Resiliency and Learning Project began in 2020 with the goal of addressing childhood trauma in the educational setting. This partnership led to a school-wide commitment to helping students identify their emotions and equip them with strategies for self-regulation," explained Principal Cummings.

She further added, "Since implementing the Zones of Regulation curriculum school-wide, we have significantly improved our support for students with disabilities and many of their peers who require self-regulation assistance." The collaboration with the NC Resiliency and Learning Project has been instrumental in aligning professional development for support staff and both general and special education teachers, promoting an environment of continuous learning and growth that has benefited all students, particularly those with disabilities.

The school's efforts have yielded remarkable results, with significant growth in reading for students with disabilities over the past year. The school saw an additional 18% of students with disabilities move from below benchmark to meet or exceed grade-level benchmarks. This growth was not confined to reading alone; math scores for students with disabilities also met or exceeded growth expectations for fourth and fifth-grade students.

In summary, Cummings emphasized, "We aim to inspire other schools by showcasing a successful instructional program model for students with disabilities. Our progress has been achieved by prioritizing core instruction for students with disabilities alongside their non-disabled peers and providing interventions in special education that address gaps in their core learning. All of this is done while ensuring the social and emotional well-being of our students. It has truly proven to be a winning formula."

James Alverson