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Atwater Elementary Selected for 2019-2020 ECTAC E2 Project

SARASOTA COUNTY, December 12, 2019 – Sarasota County Schools is pleased to announce that Atwater Elementary School has been invited to participate in the 2019 – 2020 ECTAC Exceeding Expectations (E2) Project. Currently in its ninth year, the ECTAC E2 Project strives to uplift and recognize Title I schools across Florida that are exceeding expectations related to improving student achievement across many benchmarks.

The East Coast Technical Assistance Center (ECTAC) is a collaborative network of over forty Florida school districts. ECTAC personnel assist member school districts in the development and implementation of the U.S. Department of Education’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Title I program. Schools that have 50%–100% of their student population qualify for free or reduced lunch are selected for the E2 Project using criteria based on School Grade data obtained from the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) database.

“We are so pleased that Atwater Elementary School has received this recognition,” said Mitsi Corcoran, interim superintendent and CFO of Sarasota County Schools. “Ms. Thro and her staff have an innovative school culture and high expectations for student growth. Participation in ECTAC’s E2 Project will only further the gains Atwater’s students have already made. They have our full support and we are hopeful they’ll be selected as an Award School.”

“This is a well-deserved opportunity for Atwater Elementary,” commented Chris Renouf, executive director of Elementary Education for Sarasota County Schools. “Ms. Thro and her team have worked hard to empower their All-Stars with tools for continued and lasting success. I look forward to seeing the teachers, staff and students thrive as the school moves through the program.”

“We are honored to participate in the E2 Project,” noted Cynthia Thro, principal of Atwater Elementary School. “Whether it’s exemplifying their H.E.A.R.T (Hardworking. Empathetic. Active Learners. Respectful. Trustworthy.) ideals daily or moving our school grade up to an “A”, I am so proud of each student, teacher and staff member for their dedication to making our school community a great place to learn and grow. It’s a privilege to be a part of such a dynamic school culture. I look forward to collaborating with other districts involved with the E2 Project, as well as sharing Atwater Elementary’ s shining moments with educational professionals around the State.”

Atwater Elementary School represents just one of 29 Exceeding Expectations schools out of the 1,972 Title I schools in Florida. Atwater Elementary School was identified based on 2019 School Grade data from the FDOE using the minimal criteria below:

  • ELA and Math Achievement
  • ELA and Math Learning Gains and Lower Quartile Learning Gains
  • ELA and Math Achievement in the Black and Hispanic Subgroup (if applicable)
  • Science Achievement
  • School Grade

From January to April, ECTAC will conduct interviews and classroom observations at each school participating in the E2 Project. After careful, comprehensive review of data points, school observations and interviews with school personnel and families, ECTAC will identify each school as either a Finalist or Award School. Award Schools will be invited to the annual Exceeding Expectations Conference in October 2020 in Central Florida.


About Sarasota County Schools

Sarasota County Schools is committed to providing unrivaled academic, emotional and civic growth to every student, every day. As one of the leading employers on the Suncoast, Sarasota County Schools boasts 54 schools that expertly cater to the diverse needs of over 43,900 students. We are one of two Florida school districts to consistently earn an A-grade every year since 2004 and have been awarded the Mid-Sized School District of the Year by the University of Cambridge. Our passionate educators empower students to take charge of their academic and personal success, a practice we believe fosters lifelong growth and achievement. We actively maintain the district’s tradition of excellence and ensure that tradition extends to all students. Our commitment to our students extends beyond graduation to make sure they not only graduate on time, but do so college and career ready. Want to take your student’s education to the next level? Connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or visit