Park Ridge-Niles School District 64 today proudly announced that Washington Elementary School has been designated as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
“We are simply delighted that Washington has been awarded this honor for its commitment to student achievement, and congratulate our talented students, engaged staff, and supportive families for their dedication to learning and student success,” according to District 64 Superintendent Laurie Heinz.
“We are very proud that Washington is leading the way within D64 as we see the positive impact that our 2020 Vision Strategic Plan is having on students across our schools,” Dr. Heinz added.
“Our comprehensive effort allows every child the opportunity to reach his or her full potential, through a rigorous core curriculum and a strong fine arts and physical education program,” she noted.
“We also provide additional supports for students along the learning continuum and customized professional development to keep growing our teachers,” Dr. Heinz added. “We encourage student engagement through the use of technology as part of our future-ready 21st century learning initiative, too,” she reported.
Washington is the first District 64 school to be recognized in the current program. The school was nominated by the Illinois State Board of Education after meeting stringent performance requirements as an “exemplary high performing” school.
Washington School then was invited by the U.S. Department of Education to apply for recognition through a comprehensive application describing curriculum and instruction, school supports, and strategies for academic success, among other areas probed.
“Many of our 650 students are the children -- and even grandchildren -- of Washington School alumni, so our school traditions are deeply rooted and widely celebrated,” said Principal Stephanie Daly. “We enjoy an enthusiastic partnership with parents. Our families are proud collaborators that work with us to foster a successful elementary learning experience,” she added.
In particular, Mrs. Daly pointed out several key strategies implemented over the past four years to support students with achieving their full potential, while also improving performance on standardized assessments like the Illinois state-wide test, called PARCC.
“We believe our school-wide focus on social-emotional learning activities for students and adults, as well as the use of formative assessments and implementing a SMART goal-setting process, have been very strong components of our success,” Mrs. Daly noted.
“Our goal is to give students more ownership of their learning and increased voice in creating an action plan for their growth,” she added.
Washington School is planning a school-wide celebration in November, following the national presentation of the award in Washington, D.C. on November 7-8. The school will receive a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School flag and an engraved plaque as symbols of their success.
Washington is one of 349 outstanding schools receiving the national Blue Ribbon award this year.
Members of the D64 Board of Education will congratulate Washington students, staff and families for its 2018 Blue Ribbon achievement at the Monday, November 12, 2018 Board of Education meeting.
Previously, Lincoln Middle School received a 2006 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon School award.
PHOTO: Superintendent Laurie Heinz (right) celebrates with Principal Stephanie Daly.