Relentless focus on student success earns Tacoma Public Schools 2016 CUBE Award

Tacoma Public Schools awarded the 2016 Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE) annual award for Urban School Board Excellence

9/21/2016 | TACOMA, Washington

​The National School Boards Association has named Tacoma Public Schools (TPS) as the winner of its 2016 CUBE Annual Award for Urban School Board Excellence.

The CUBE Award recognizes the leadership of urban school districts where effective school board governance has an impact on student achievement. In 2012, Tacoma Public Schools set a goal of graduating 85 percent of its students by 2020. Last year, the four-year graduation rate rose to 82.6 percent, up from 55.3 percent in 2010. This progress and the district’s intentional focus on strategic initiatives demonstrate how TPS is leading the way.

“What many urban school boards do is make the mistake of saying, ‘Hey, let’s get this better,’ but they’re not specific about what ‘better’ means,” Superintendent Carla Santorno told Del Stover in the October issue of the American School Board Journal. “We were very specific. We set goals that would be indicators and benchmarks to tell us when we’re making a difference. We really focused and prioritized things that make a difference.”

TPS Board President Karen Vialle, Vice President Catherine Ushka and Superintendent Santorno will formally accept the award at the 49th CUBE Annual Conference in Miami later this month.

About Tacoma Public Schools goals

  • Goal 1: All students will perform at or above grade level and we will eliminate disparities among all groups.
  • Goal 2: We will fully engage our parents, community and staff in the education of our children.
  • Goal 3: We will focus on early assessment and intervention at the Pre-K through 3rd grade levels to ensure early academic success.
  • Goal 4: All schools will create and maintain safe learning environments that promote excellent academic achievement.

From school to school, the district offers diverse programs that connect students to their passions and keep them engaged in learning. The district designates 14 schools as “Innovative Schools” for infusing a unique learning environment into the total school experience.

TPS continues to partner with the community and find new ways to connect students to their interests and help them achieve their dreams.

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