Pocomoke School Earns Title I Designation

POCOMOKE — Pocomoke Elementary School (PES) received a National Title I Distinguished School designation this week, making it one of only two schools in Maryland to do so this year.

“I think it’s quite an accomplishment,” said Board of Education President Bob Hulburd.

PES joins an elite list of schools to receive the designation in 2011.

“Each year, only 100 schools in the country are selected,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes.

Each state selects two, with the other Maryland designee coming from Baltimore County this year. Selection is based upon two factors — test scores as measured by the Maryland State Assessment (MSA) and percentage of students coming from households of poverty, as measured by how many receive Free And Reduced Meals (FARMS). PES won the distinction this year by having 97.3 percent of MSA reading test takers score proficient or advanced while 100 percent of its math test takers scored the same. Coupled with that, 66 percent of the school’s 388 students qualify for FARMS.

Hulburd called it an example of everyone at the school working together to overcome obstacles.
“It just shows what a great staff and great students we have,” he said.

Andes agreed that cooperation between students willing to learn and teachers willing to instruct is responsible for the nearly perfect test scores and general success of PES.

“Pocomoke Elementary School is a phenomenal school. Each day, every day, the staff at Pocomoke Elementary School works hard to make a difference for the children,” Andes said. “The success of Pocomoke Elementary School would not be possible without the terrific staff and outstanding leadership by Mr. Todd Hall.”

PES is one of three state-acknowledged Title I schools in Worcester County, along with Snow Hill Elementary School and Buckingham Elementary School. To qualify, schools need to register outstanding MSA results while still having at least 50 percent of the student population qualifying for FARMS.

Ocean City Elementary School (OCES) and Showell Elementary School (SES) are the only two elementary schools in Worcester not to qualify for Title I recognition, though Andes pointed out that they are ineligible not because of poor test scores but because they do not meet the required 50 percent households of poverty rate. He noted that both OCES and SES have been designated Maryland and National Blue Ribbon Schools.