CLINTON — The East Feliciana Parish School Board recognized the principal and faculty of Slaughter Elementary School at a Tuesday meeting for becoming a finalist for a $50,000 award given by a national teacher training organization.

As one of five finalists for the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching's Founder's Award, the Slaughter school will receive $10,000 and more than 25 of the school's teachers will attend the group's national conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, on March 27.

Duplessis Primary School in Ascension Parish, two elementary schools in Arizona and a high school in Texas are the other finalists.

NIET chairman and founder Lowell Miliken said in a Tuesday news release that Slaughter Elementary had demonstrated significant achievement growth in three years of working with NIET.

"Principal Kim Glascock and her faculty have retained teachers, promoted a growth mindset and closed achievement gaps," Miliken said in the news release.

Glascock said the school likely will use the $10,000 finalist's prize to purchase additional technology and instructional material for the students.

The C.B. and Irene W. Pennington Foundation of Baton Rouge also recently awarded the school a $50,000 grant that Glascock said is being used to buy rewards for students to support its positive behavior program and to buy additional technology for the classroom.

NIET works with 8,500 schools, districts, state and universities to ensure that all students have effective educators in their classrooms.

"Slaughter Elementary School shows what is possible when educators are the difference-makers and empowered as professionals," said Candice McQueen, NIET's chief executive officer.

The organization said Slaughter Elementary began implementing its TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement in the 2017-18 school year and "distinguished itself as a (school) of choice for educators," the news release says.

Teacher retention increased by 22 percentage points, from 56 % in 2017-18 to 78 % in 2018-19.

Slaughter Elementary serves a student population that is 30% minority and 61% that is economically disadvantaged.

Between 2018 and 2019, third-grade students increased their English-language arts index score by 29 points, from 64.5 to 94.5. During the same time frame, fourth-grade students moved their index score in the same subject area from 65.4 to 88.6.

Students with disabilities improved their index by 10.7 points, and economically disadvantaged students increased their index by 5 points.

Overall, Slaughter Elementary received a B letter grade from the state in 2018 and 2019, increasing its school performance score from 76.3 to 81.3 and earning an A for student progress.