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Indiana School Earns National PTA's First School of Excellence Award

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The National PTA has created a recognition program to highlight and acknowledge outstanding family-school partnerships across America.

Northrop High School and the Northrop PTSA in Fort Wayne, Ind., is the first National PTA School of Excellence because of its "leadership and commitment to partnering to support student success and continuous school improvement," according to a Dec. 11 press release from the Alexandria, Va.-based nonprofit.

"Northrop High School and Northrop PTSA have put strong practices into place that involve families in the life of the school, and we are pleased to recognize them as the first National PTA School of Excellence nationwide," National PTA President Otha Thornton said in the release. Thornton presented Northrop PTSA with a National PTA School of Excellence banner during a special reception at Northrop High School last month.

 "The bottom line is, [and] the secret to success at Northrop's PTA is, that everybody does a little," Fort Wayne area PTA Council President Kathie Green said in an article in the Journal Gazette. "It adds up to something absolutely amazing."

The National PTA School of Excellence program was established to strengthen family-school partnerships nationwide and demonstrate progress in education, health and safety, arts, and cultural exploration. An exemplary National PTA School of Excellence makes families feel welcome and empowers them to support their students' academic success.

To earn the National PTA School of Excellence recognition, PTAs evaluate their current family-engagement strategies and submit a school improvement goal developed by families and school staff. Schools must show significant progress toward achieving their goal in addition to further strengthening their existing family-school partnerships. In its first year, more than 800 PTAs enrolled in the School of Excellence program.

Northrop PTSA has more than 660 members, and all of the high school's teachers have joined the PTSA for each of the past three years. Northrop was recognized for its family-engagement outreach, including a College and Career Night for middle and high school students and their families.  

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