BLUFFTON — A big honor has been bestowed on Bluffton Elementary School.
According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 16 Ohio schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018.
“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”
Bluffton Elementary was the only school in the region to be honored.
“It is a great honor to be chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School. The school was one of the 300 public schools chosen across the nation as an Exemplary High Performing School or Gap Closing School, we are high performing,” said Tim Closson, Bluffton Elementary principal.
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“We are a high performing school because of the expectations and support we get from our staff, community, parents and students. There is a long-standing tradition of excellence at Bluffton,” said Closson.
School officials found in May 2018 that in the 2016-17 school year, Bluffton Elementary scored in the top 1 percent of elementary schools in Ohio based on the Ohio Achievement Test scores. They were ranked 27th out of 1,398 schools.
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.
Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program has recognized more than 8,800 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, DeVos will host an awards ceremony in Washington D.C.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.