City Heights Elementary named National Blue Ribbon SchoolThursday, September 26, 2019 5:08 pm
Van Buren’s City Heights Elementary has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. One of only two schools in the state to receive the honor this year, the prestigious award recognizes schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
City Heights students and staff, along with District and community leaders, gathered for a surprise afternoon ceremony on Thursday (September 26) where Principal Mary McCutchen revealed the honor. McCutchen shared a video message from U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announcing that the school had been selected.
“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:
· Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
· Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
“We are incredibly proud of our students and staff at City Heights and all they have done to earn this impressive distinction,” said Superintendent Dr. Harold Jeffcoat. “This is a tremendous honor for not only our District, but for our entire community.”
Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On November 14 and 15, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.