ACS representatives attend National Blue Ribbon Ceremony

Published 3:58 pm Monday, December 4, 2023

By NOAH WORTHAM | Staff Writer

ALABASTER – Representatives of Alabaster City Schools recently traveled to Washington D.C. on Nov. 17 for Creek View Elementary School’s formal recognition as a 2023 U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School.

“Attending the National Blue Ribbon sessions and ceremony in Washington D.C. with my reading coach Amy Thames and ACS Superintendent Dr. Wayne Vickers was extraordinarily special,” Cole said. “We were able to learn and share best practices with other leaders across the nation.”

Creek View Elementary was honored in the Exemplary High-Performing category for being among the top 15 percent of elementary schools in terms of academic achievement. During the ceremony, approximately 350 schools were recognized.

“It was such a wonderful experience to be in Washington, D.C., and have the U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona recognize Creek View Elementary School as a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School/Exemplary High Performing School,” Vickers said.

During the event, the 2023 National Teacher of the Year, Rebecka Peterson provided a message to educators in attendance.

“She encouraged us to keep a journal and write “one” good thing daily,” Cole said. “She created an acrostic using the word O.N.E. Own your story. Notice the good and document. Exponentiate the power.”

Each year, school representatives traditionally dance across the stage, take a picture and receive a plaque and National Blue Ribbon Flag.

“We didn’t dance, but certainly sang as they played ‘Sweet Home Alabama,’” Cole said.

Cole expressed her gratitude to those who helped make earning the accolade of National blue Ribbon School achievable.

“I would like to thank our faculty, teachers, and instructional coaches for their hard work to earn National Blue Ribbon status,” Cole said. “I would like to thank Dr. Vickers, ACS board members and the instructional department for their continuous support of Creek View Elementary School.”

CVES was first named as a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School on Sept. 19 and is the first school in its district to earn the distinction.

“We are so proud of our students, teachers, administrators—everyone who had a part in this tremendous achievement,” Vickers said. “This is yet another shining example of all the great work going on across Alabaster City Schools.”

Each year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private, elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes all schools 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 student groups and all students.

Nominated schools also complete an extensive narrative application describing their school culture and philosophy, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, professional development, leadership structures and parent and community involvement.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are set to serve as models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. A National Blue Ribbon school flag gracing a school’s entryway or on a flagpole is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.