Award Year: 2022

Florence Drake Elementary School

2755 4th Street
Sparks, NV, 89431-2239

(775) 353-5510

Dr. Nichole Truax, Principal at time of Nomination

Jason Shipman, Current Principal

Title I School

Washoe County School District (Area 4)

School Website


Maintain high standards in partnership with families and the community to ensure academic and social emotional growth for ALL students in a safe and nurturing environment.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 32%
  • Hispanic: 57%
  • Hawaiian/Pacific Islander: 1%
  • Asian: 2%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 6%
Students are describing learning behaviors to create classroom expectations.

Students are describing learning behaviors to create classroom expectations.

Florence Drake Elementary School is a high performing Title One school in the Washoe County School District. We attribute our high performance to our belief in students and collective efficacy. Every morning our students and staff begin the day with words of wisdom and a reminder to strive for our best in academics and behavior. This tradition reflects our collective belief. We believe each student has the potential to succeed through hard work and perseverance.

This belief in our students extends to a belief in ourselves. Staff believe and trust each other to teach all students. Every staff member at Florence Drake teaches students during our schoolwide Walk to Learn instructional block. Our focus for intermediate grades is preparation for the state assessment, while primary grades focus on vocabulary and comprehension. Our greatest challenge when implementing the Walk to Learn model was to change the staff mindset. Traditionally, elementary teachers focus solely on the instruction of their assigned students and are held accountable for their performance. The Walk to Learn model required teachers to share ownership of their students' growth and trust colleagues to teach them. At first, not all staff members accepted this model. Yet, after our first year of implementation and an increase in student performance, our staff mindset changed. As a result, our staff developed trust in each other, and we established a shared ownership of student performance.

The reward for this change and collective belief is evident in our students' performance on our state assessment, which has steadily increased from 2018 to 2022. During this time frame, proficiency from 48 percent to 70 percent in English Language Arts, from 37 percent to 59 percent in math, and from 11 percent to 28 percent in science.

The African Proverb, "It takes a village to raise a child," rings true at Florence Drake Elementary School as all staff and students are invested in striving for their best.