The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award program announced that the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), for the second year in a row, has nominated a Gardner Edgerton school for the National Blue Ribbon (NBR) Schools Award Program.
This year, Gardner Elementary has been nominated by KSDE as an Exemplary High Performing School. Gardner Elementary is among only five Kansas schools nominated and invited by the United States Department of Education to complete the application for the national award.
“This nomination is very exciting and validating to our learning community.  The positive relationships and ongoing communication within our school has allowed our dedicated staff to team with parents and provide supports that positively impact students,” said ncipal Jason Watkins, Gardner Elementary principal. “I am so proud of our students, staff, and parents for making this nomination possible. As I look to the future I am excited to see what we can continue to achieve by working together.”
To be nominated as an Exemplary High Performing School, the school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked on:
—the performance of all students who participated in the most recently administered state assessments in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics, or
—a composite index that includes these assessment results, and may also include assessment results in other subject areas and/or other student performance measures, such as attendance or graduation rates.
The school also must be in the top 40 percent of all schools in the state when schools are ranked on:
—the performance of all students in the subgroup who participated in the most recently administered state assessments in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics, or
—a composite index that includes these assessment results and may also include assessment results in other subject areas and/or other student performance measures, such as attendance or graduation rates for high schools.
In addition to meeting the above performance criteria, a nominated school must have at least 100 students enrolled and have assessment data for at least 10 students in each tested grade for both reading (or English language arts) and mathematics. States with a large percentage of schools with fewer than 100 students enrolled may include up to a similar percentage of these schools in their nominations. However, each school must have assessment data for at least 10 students in each tested grade for both reading (or English language arts) and mathematics.
One-third of the public schools nominated by each state must have enrollments that include at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds. All nominated public schools must meet the state’s performance targets in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics and other academic indicators (i.e., attendance rate and graduation rate), for the all students group and all subgroups, including having participation rates of at least 95 percent using the most recent accountability results available for nomination. In order to meet all eligibility requirements, nominated public schools must be certified by states prior to September 2017.
“The Blue Ribbon Award program is the highest accolade an academic institution can receive nationally, and we are extremely proud to receive a state nomination,” said Pam Stranathan, superintendent. “For the district to receive a nomination two years in a row is extraordinary. It truly acknowledges the hard work and dedication of our students and staff at USD 231.”
National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models for other schools throughout the nation, and school personnel are often sought out as mentors. Their applications are posted on the U.S. Department of Education’s website, and media eagerly profile recognized schools, helping the school, its district, and community gain additional exposure. Representatives from schools are honored at an annual awards ceremony held in Washington, DC. Each school receives an engraved plaque and program flag with the official seal, which signifies its status and the year of its award.
National Blue Ribbon Schools are public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools that are producing outstanding results for all students. They have demonstrated consistent excellence, and made progress in closing gaps in student achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition program is part of a larger U. S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about effective school leadership and promising instructional practices. Since its inception in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has recognized more than 7,800 Great American Schools.
Sunflower Elementary was recognized as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon Award School and Wheatridge Middle School was recognized as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon Award School. Gardner Elementary is the third school in District history to be recognized with this prestigious honor.
The application must be submitted by March 31, 2017. The final selection of the 2017 National Blue Ribbon schools will be made by the Secretary of Education in September 2017. For more information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools, visit http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html