History of Rutherford College Elementary School Rutherford College Elementary School is situated in rural western North Carolina, serving a diversified group of learners, pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. We are one of twenty-six schools in the Burke County Public School System. As a school-wide Title 1 Program, the school's poverty level is 53%. English Language Learners constitute 24% of the population and only 5% of the youngsters meet federal and state guidelines as academically/intellectually gifted students. Nonetheless, for the past several years, Rutherford College Elementary has been recognized as a North Carolina School of Excellence with more than 90% of the pupils performing at or above grade level. Over the last five years, student achievement at Rutherford College Elementary has increased significantly as a result of the daily implementation of scientifically researched best practices in each classroom and an enhanced focus on closing the achievement gap. The school's overall proficiency has grown from 89% in 1999 to 98% in 2004. For the 2001-2002 school year, Rutherford College Elementary was honored as on the "Top Twenty-Five Most Improved K-8 Schools in North Carolina" by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In the 2003-2004 academic year, the school distinguished itself as a North Carolina Honor School of Excellence. Additionally, with no achievement gap and full compliance to the No Child Left Behind Legislation for adequate yearly progress, Rutherford College Elementary was named the Exemplary Reading School for the State of North Carolina (via the North Carolina Reading Association and the International Reading Association, May 2004) and as a North Carolina Title 1 Distinguished School (via the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction - Compensatory Education Section, January 2005). Thus, Rutherford College Elementary exemplifies its mission statement of being a school "where all children read and write!" Via the teamwork demonstrated among staff members, each child's needs are met. (Even the school's motto, "Shaping the Future, One Child At a Time" echoes the vision. With a roadrunner as its mascot, the "Rutherford College Roadrunners Run the Road to Success!"). As a team, educators intervene immediately when a child needs assistance. In the truest sense of the phrase, "No Child at Rutherford College Elementary is Left Behind," because the staff won't allow it, the educators are committed to "whatever it takes" to meet the curricular/instructional needs of every child. The amount of professional discussion that occurs about each child who is not making sufficient growth is phenomenal. Working as a team, the staff stretches each child to reach his/her full potential. Staff members strive to develop educated, responsible citizens who have a positive self-esteem, a respect for others, and a desire for lifelong learning. In other words, each child's progress is continually monitored by the staff to guarantee his/her on-going achievement. With the consistent, reflective practice and dedication of the school's team, student success will continue and the children will be the benefactors.