U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, announced today that Dix Street Elementary has been named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. Dix Street is one of 342 schools receiving this honor. “I am so proud of the staff, students, and parents of Dix Street Elementary,” says Principal Mark Rollandini, Ph.D., “The teamwork, dedication and hard work of the members of the Dix Street community have paid off in this national recognition. What we do, as a team, every day to support the social, emotional, and academic growth of every child is why we qualified for such a prestigious award.”
“We are extremely proud of, and excited for, our staff, students and their families for achieving this incredible honor,” says Otsego Public Schools Superintendent, Jeffery Haase. “This was a school that was designated a Focus school in 2013, achieved the status of a Reward school the following year and is now nationally recognized for its achievement. This is an example of our District focus on the individual learner and commitment to our belief that all students can excel.”
National Blue Ribbon Schools are on education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems. Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may be nominated as Exemplary High Performing—among the top schools in a state—or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing—schools making the fastest progress in their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Dix Street was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing school.
“Dix Street Elementary has embraced a culture of deep professional collaboration driven by data. The staff always puts the whole child at the center of all decisions and works tirelessly to impact student achievement,” says Otsego Public Schools Director of Instruction, Heather Kortlandt, “Each and every teacher, paraprofessional and support staff members have impacted the building leading to this blue ribbon status.”
School officials will represent Dix Street Elementary at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on November 6 & 7, where they will hear Secretary DeVos and esteemed educators share best practices and celebrate their hard-won achievements, “I am delighted to be a part of this celebration of learning and continuous growth at Dix Street,” adds Rollandini. Dix Street will hold a celebration of this award at their annual Family Fall Festival on October 10, and be recognized by Otsego’s Board of Education at their meeting on October 9, at 7pm at Dix Street Elementary.
For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit http://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/