Mason: School earns Title I award 

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 12/5/2016 6:28:22 PM

The National Title I Distinguished Schools Program recognizes up to 100 schools from across the country each year for exceptional student achievement. This year, one of them is Mason Elementary School.

Mason was nominated by the New Hampshire Department of Education based on its improved test scores and ability to close the gaps between students.

“It’s a priority to us that we are meeting kids where they’re at, and working with them if they’re falling behind,” Principal and Superintendent Kristen Kivela said.

She said the award was a pleasant surprise.

“It was a little bit of a surprise,” she said. “I had never really heard of it before.”

Last year, the Department of Education did not nominate any New Hampshire schools. This year, Mason Elementary was joined by New Franklin Elementary School in Portsmouth.

They are the third and fourth New Hampshire schools to earn the title of distinguished school, after Adeline C. Marston School in Hampton in 2013, and Somersworth Middle School in 2014.

Kivela said her school is equipped to help students in the Title I program because of its class class sizes and having a Title I specialist that works with students up to four days a week, beginning in kindergarten.

“When I came on two years ago, we really revamped Title I and if you look at the test scores the past two years we’ve really improved,” she said.

Title I refers to the part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that guarantees public schools be able to service every student without exception. Mason Elementary School focuses on students who may need extra support in math or reading, based on scores and input from classroom teachers.

“It’s really about talking with the classroom teachers and seeing what they need,” Kivela said. “It’s communication.”

As a part of the recognition, Kivela and two teachers will be going to Long Beach, California, in February to present the improvements made in Mason to help students.

The National Title I Association is made up of Title I directors from each state and territory.

It has been around since 1996 and focuses on celebrating schools that have exceptional student performance, close achievement gaps between student groups, and/or show excellence in serving special student populations.



Brandon Latham can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or He is also on Twitter @blathamMLT.


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