Perry Township elementary shortlisted for World’s Best School prizes
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A Perry Township elementary school is receiving global recognition for its effort in making education accessible to refugee students who come to the U.S. with very little English skills.
T4 Education, which works closely with the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching, selected William Henry Burkhart Elementary as a finalist for the Community Collaboration Award. Burkhart was named in the Top 10 shortlist for the $250,000 World’s Best School Prizes for the Community Collaboration Award.
Burkhart is the only Indiana school in the Top 10.
According to a release Thursday, Burkhart is a shining example of the American spirit of community in its effort to welcome and support refugees from Myanmar. Despite the sudden surge in enrollment, the school partnered with local community groups and adapted its institutional model to create a comprehensive and accessible support system.
The large number of refugee children has brought a 160% increase in English-learner students to Burkhart. Despite the high number of English-learner students, Burkhart ranks third in its district for overall proficiency.
Burkhart has positively impacted many refugee children’s lives by creating a space to help them navigate this world with an advantage no one can take from them, education. The true impact was shared in the press release, “A current instructional tutor-translator who first arrived at the school in the 4th grade was one of the refugee children. The student overcame her personal challenges and decided to return as an educator, giving back to the school that shaped her success.”
The school is one of four in the U.S. to be shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prizes overall. The other U.S. schools listed:
- Palo Alto High School in California was also shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prize for Innovation.
- Chester A. Arthur School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives.
- IMG Academy in Florida was also shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prize for Supporting Healthy Lives.
The World’s Best School Prizes was founded in 2022 by T4 Education in collaboration with Accenture, American Express, Yayasan Hasanahc, and the Lemann Foundation. The prizes were established to share the best practices of schools that are transforming the lives of their students and making a real difference in their communities.
The Top 3 finalists for each of the five World’s Best School Prizes will be announced in September following the winners in October. A prize of $250,000 will be distributed equally among the winners of the five prizes, with each earning an award of $50,000.
“The schools shortlisted for the World’s Best School Prizes, no matter where they can be found or what they teach, all have one thing in common. They all have a strong school culture. Their leaders know how to attract and motivate exceptional educators, inspire change, and build excellent teaching and learning environments.
“I must congratulate William Henry Burkhart Elementary on being named in the Top 10 shortlists for the World’s Best School Prizes 2023. Schools across the globe will learn from the story of this trailblazing Indianapolis institution and the culture it has cultivated.”
Vikas Pota, Founder of T4 Education and the World’s Best School Prizes