Seattle Public Schools

Maple Elementary Earns Distinguished School Award 

Summary: Maple Elementary has earned recognition as a State Distinguished School for its exceptional student performance and academic growth. 

Every year, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools Awards recognize schools that bridge educational gaps. For the 2022–23 school year, Seattle’s Maple Elementary has earned recognition as a State Distinguished School for its exceptional student performance and academic growth. 

Schools are eligible for the ESEA Distinguished Schools Award if 35% of their student population is identified as low-income. The award honors schools that show a commitment to closing educational achievement and opportunity gaps. Recognized schools show notable efforts to educate, innovate, and create collaborative environments for students.  

Group photo of OSPI staff presenting award to Maple Elementary staff

Distinguished Schools have outstanding performance in three categories: 

  1. Exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years 
  1. Closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years 
  1. Excellence in serving special populations of students (e.g., homeless, migrant, English learners, etc.) 

For the principals, teachers, and staff of the honored schools, this award brings a sense of pride.  

“I think the reason we got the award is because we’ve been working really hard on being able to come together, look at our data, look at the needs of our students, and then … put interventions and supports in place to be able to meet students’ needs,” said Principal Daisy Barragan. 

School of Distinction Award presented to Maple Elementary in front of students

Christy Bowman-White was Maple’s principal for four years before Barragan took over as the school’s leader this year. Bowman-White had made it her mission to see the school get recognition for the work they put in. 

“The staff, the families … we are all in this together. The staff worked so hard; they worked collaboratively … It was no individual teacher pushing on their own,” Bowman-White said. “Over time, the staff took on every part of the curriculum, and we created a guaranteed and viable curriculum for students in every class, including social emotional learning, which was such a big part of being successful in the other content areas.” 

State ESEA Distinguished Schools will receive a plaque and a grant of $15,000. The grants can be used for professional development, team building, or other program development activities, offering all awarded schools an opportunity to continue investing in educational excellence. 

Group photo of Maple Elementary and SPS staff holding School of Distinction Award

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