Fairhill Recognized as 2020 Blue Ribbon School
Fairhill Elementary has a diverse student body, including speakers of more than 30 languages who hail from 40 different countries. To meet the needs of their students, and led by an instructional coach and administrators, teachers use data to guide the use of remediation and enrichment. The special education lead teacher runs a Learning Lab to provide individualized reading instruction to students needing extra support in reading. A Before School Learning Academy offers intense re-teaching and remediation to prepare students for Virginia’s Standards of Learning tests. Mentoring programs provide connections for students in and out of the building. Adult mentors support students in traditionally underserved groups who are referred by teachers or parents, and sixth graders team up with students in grades K-3 for the Fairhill Friends Forever program.
What are National Blue Ribbon Schools?
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 367 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Secretary DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”
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. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.
The Education 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 – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).