Oakwood Elem. Named Blue Ribbon School

Oakwood Elementary was recently named a Blue Ribbon School. They earned the Exemplary High Performing Schools rating.

?This is a prestigious award and only 26 campuses in the state were awarded the Blue Ribbon,? Oakwood ISD Superintendent Donny Lee said.

Tina Rayborn has been serving as the Oakwood ISD Principal for four years.

?We were unacceptable in 2005 and 2006. The state was about to take us over. Rose Henson, Susan Irons, Deborah Johnson, and I sat out on a mission to make a good school great!? Rayborn said. ?We were not taking quit for an answer. We did it! We have been recognized every year since. We finally reached the top recognition this year thanks to every staff member in the district! There is no feeling like looking across the students knowing that they attend one of the top schools in the state!.?

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recently recognized 342 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017. The recognition is based on a school?s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

?National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,? said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to the honorees. ?You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us: some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff.?

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.

This coveted 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 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 6-7, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student 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 subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The 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).