CALLOWAY COUNTY, KY (KFVS) - Southwest Elementary has just been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr.
"I am exceedingly pleased that the students and staff of Southwest Elementary have been recognized on the national level for their continued excellence in academic growth and their determination to eliminate achievement gaps within student subgroups," said Superintendent Tres Settle. "Only a handful of schools across the country are selected for this prestigious award, and I am honored Southwest has brought the Blue Ribbon distinction to the Calloway County School District."
"Southwest Elementary is extremely honored to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. We pride ourselves on providing our students with the best learning experience," said Principal Josh McKeel
"It is through the hard work and dedication of our students, faculty, staff, parents, district, and community that makes this recognition possible. This acknowledgment validates our efforts and our commitment to excellence," Josh McKeel went on to say.
Assistant Superintendent and District Assessment Coordinator Brian Wilmurth added, "Southwest is being recognized because of the progress that they have made over the past 3-4 years, They have made a concerted effort to make decisions that meet the needs of students based on data. This has allowed them to narrow the achievement gap, and reduce novices. Mr. McKeel, his faculty and staff, the parents at Southwest, and most importantly, the students have all worked very hard and I am very excited for them."
Secretary King announced the National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016.
The award is based on the school's overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers," King said in a video message to honorees.
"Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation."
"Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Schools are great examples of what can happen when there is attention to equity, achievement and integrity at the school level," Kentucky's Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said.
"Their focus on serving all students, creating a culture of highly effective teaching and learning and taking an honest look at how they can continuously improve have earned them this honor. Kentucky's Blue Ribbon Schools represent educational excellence and serve as models for schools across Kentucky," Pruitt said.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.
The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school's building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.
National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.
For more information about the award, take a look at the links below.