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Rainier View Award

Summary: Rainier View’s success can be attributed to its clear mission and vision for high-quality teaching in every classroom.

Rainier View Elementary Named a State ESEA Distinguished School

Tucked deep in the city’s south end sits a hidden gem – the district’s southernmost school, Rainier View Elementary. The tiny building, which reopened as a neighborhood school in 2011, is home to just over 200 students, each adding a bit of flavor to this diverse school community.  

Rainier View’s success can be attributed to its clear mission and vision for high-quality teaching in every classroom. The school is thriving, which is why the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) has named Rainier View a State ESEA Distinguished School for its exceptional English learner (EL) student achievement. 

The school’s principal, Anitra Jones, attributes their success to not only the staff, but also the students and their families. 

Anita Jones poses for a photo outside of Rainer View Elementary
Anita Jones, Rainier View principal

“We’re just proud of the students and the community for this honor,” she said. “I cannot express how hard the educators work here with students trying to ensure that all students under our care meet or exceed our grade-level standards. This recognition is just a testament over time of how teachers and students have worked together within this partnership.” 

What makes ESEA Distinguished Schools’ stories especially powerful are the documented student achievement gains that have resulted from their collaborative and targeted efforts and innovations.  

Yeonghong Go is an EL teacher for multilingual learners. Given the amount of effort the staff put in during the COVID-19 pandemic, Go was not surprised by the honor. 

“Under Ms. Jones’ leadership, we have been trying our best to meet our students’ and our families’ needs, especially during the pandemic,” Go said. “Our team, the whole school, everybody was going above and beyond to meet our students’ needs.” 

Aligned with a project of the National Association of ESEA State Program Administrators (NAESPA), the State ESEA Distinguished Schools Program recognizes qualifying federally funded schools for the outstanding academic achievements of their students. It highlights the efforts of schools across the country making significant improvements for their students. 

The school will be awarded $15,000. Jones plans to put the money into supplies for students like classroom libraries. For the staff, she hopes to provide professional development opportunities. 

“We can continue to build our toolkits as educators to meet the needs of all learners,” Jones said. “I want to invest right back into our teachers. We know that strong, high-quality professional development leads to student achievement.”  

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