Carmel’s College Wood Elementary named Blue Ribbon School

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The staff at College Wood Elementary celebrate being named a Blue Ribbon School. (Submitted photo)

College Wood Elementary has been recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Dept. of Education. Nationally, 342 public schools received the honor this year.

This is the second time College Wood has received the honor. The last time was in 1985.

The application process is lengthy and limited to a small group of staff at the school level.

“Really unveiling it yesterday was a huge surprise to the staff. We were able to gather the staff after school and have a whole celebration in the media center,” College Wood Principal Kathy Olssen said. “They were unaware of what the surprise could be. Everyone was excited and elated to have this nationally recognized award. It was an affirmation of all the hard work they do every day at school. It really put smiles on their faces.”

To be chosen, schools must rank in the top 15 percent of all schools on ISTEP assessments in both reading and mathematics.

“It has a lot to do with the curriculum we’re picking, the way we are training our teachers to deliver that curriculum, the efforts they put in to analyze the data of every individual child, setting differentiated goals and following through with those goals,” Olssen said.

The national award ceremony is Nov. 6-7 in Washington, D.C. Olssen and Assistant Principal Alissa Carmichael will attend.

“We’re planning a blue ribbon week the week of Nov. 6. We’re going to plan some activities and have a ceremony with the school that will present the award to the school,” Olssen said.

Olssen said the award isn’t just for the school but the community.

“I want to make sure the staff, students and parents feel this is completely an award for all of them,” Olssen said. “It takes a village.”

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