Lake Silver principal explains school’s new Title 1 status

Lake Silver Elementary is now a Title 1 school. What does that mean, and how does it affect your student?

Orange County Public Schools has had a metric in place for years that gave a school Title 1 status solely based on the percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunch. Now, OCPS has changed the way they determine which schools qualify by using a “direct certified data option,” which identifies students whose families receive food stamps, are on Medicaid or are homeless.

Because more of Lake Silver’s existing students have been identified under Title 1, the school will receive additional funds and support positions.

The new status will be a good thing for the school, according to principal Sara Bigalke.

“I’m excited about this,” Bigalke said. “We will receive additional funds, which is allowing me to keep some positions I may not have been able to otherwise. We will also be adding a program coordinator for parent engagement.”

In addition to the additional funds and positions, Lake Silver will begin offering summer school next year for kindergarten through second grade. “The summer slide is real,” Bigalke said. “This will really help with that.”

Bigalke understands that parents have been confused about the new Title 1 status but wants them to know that the school will still be the Lake Silver they’ve known. “We aren’t getting more students and our school grade will not be affected … nothing has changed,” she explained.

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