Carbonado kids receive cash prize for WASL accomplishment

Last year
Last year's fourth graders from Carbonado gladly accepted a $25,000 Apple Achievement Award, given in recognition of their improvement on state-mandated testing.Photo by Brenda Sexton
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By Brenda Sexton

The Courier-Herald

“This will put you on the map for the whole state as one of the best,” Sen. Marilyn Rasmussen told Carbonado Historical School District students who gathered recently in the school gymnasium.

Rasmussen was joined by Rep. Jim McCune, State Board of Education President Carolyn Tolas, representatives from the Office of Public Instruction's facilities department and a mass of excited students and staff.

The mood was festive because the small school was “officially” receiving its $25,000 Apple Achievement Award. Carbonado students were among 10 Washington public elementary schools to receive the money through the State Board of Education for achieving the greatest gains on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL).

“I want to applaud everyone in this room for their work toward this,” Carbonado Superintendent Scott Hubbard said.

Tolas thanked the students for their work, too. In particular, she recognized last year's fourth-graders, who increased their averages in reading, math and writing by 37 percent.

She also thanked fourth-grade teachers Jennifer Mills and Valerie Hicks, the teachers who taught in the grades before them, and the librarians, music and physical education teachers and the others who support learning.

Tolas told the students of the 1,142 elementary schools in Washington, only 10 received Apple Achievement Awards. Of those 10, two were like Carbonado with less than 30 students in a class.

The grants may be used for capital construction projects on school grounds or on other public property in the community, city or county in which the school is located. Legislation directs that students determine how to spend the money.

Hubbard told students to put on their thinking caps and start looking around the school for a good project. But don't take too long, he warned, the state would like a plan by Dec. 15.

The Apple Award Construction Achievement Grants are made possible by funding provided by the state Legislature in the past session.

Brenda Sexton can be reached at

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