Lynchburg-Clay Elementary was awarded national honors Tuesday for their “exemplary achievement gap closing,” winning a National Blue Ribbon Schools Award.
According to a U.S. Department of Education press release, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced 335 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2015 on Tuesday. The Department will honor these schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 9-10 in Washington, D.C., the press release stated.
Lynchburg-Clay Elementary is one of just six elementary schools in the state to be given the honor, along with Hilltop Elementary of Beachwood, R.F. McMullen Elementary of Loudonville, Saint Agatha Catholic School of Columbus, Shawnee Maplewood Elementary of Lima and Westerly Elementary of Bay Village.
“At this point, our building is so excited and jumping for joy,” Lynchburg-Clay principal Joni Minton told The Highland County Press. "This award means the world to us as we are truly a team, always working together, whether at grade level or on various other task force teams that meet to make building decisions.
“Our collaboration lends to our success. I am so proud of our teachers, staff and students for their dedication and hard work. They are so deserving of this award."
According to the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program website, approximately 7,000 schools have been honored in the program’s 32-year history.
The U.S. Department of Education press release states that winning “schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates: Exemplary High PerformingSchools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools.”
Lynchburg-Clay Elementary was honored as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School, meaning the elementaryschool is “among their state's highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school's subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels.”
Lynchburg-Clay Local School District Superintendent Brett Justice praised Minton and the Lynchburg-Clay Elementary staff.
“Congratulations to Mrs. Minton and her staff, who do an excellent job year in and year out,” Justice said. “This national award is well-deserved for the consistent effort in scores the elementary has produced.
“The extra effort that we put in to ensure that all students perform at a high level is evident upon receiving this attention and award.”
Lynchburg-Clay Elementary received the honor after announcing their nomination earlier this year.
“Public schools are nominated by the Chief State School Officer in each state,” National Blue Ribbon Schools Program website says. “At least one-third of public schools nominated in each state must student populations of at least 40-percent students from disadvantaged backgrounds. All public schools must also meet their state’s annual measurable objectives (e.g., AYP).”
Lynchburg-Clay Elementary educates 555 students, according to their application, with 49 percent classified as economically disadvantaged. The school’s mission statement is "At Lynchburg-Clay Elementary, we are responsible caring citizens, striving to become lifelong learners."
“This mission is the foundation for the day-to-day operations of our school,” the Lynchburg-Clay Elementary application said. “Our staff works to educate the whole child by providing a rigorous academic program and socio-emotional support to help each student develop to his/her fullest potential.”