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Mount Ayr Elementary School is among five Iowa schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022.
The award honors schools for overall academic performance or for progress in closing achievement gaps among subgroups of students.
The Iowa public schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools are:
• Mount Ayr Elementary, Mount Ayr Community School District;
• Prairie Trail Elementary, Ankeny Community School District;
• Van Meter High School, Van Meter Community School District;
• Vinton-Shellsburg Middle School, Vinton-Shellsburg Community School District;
• West Elementary School, Glenwood Community School District.
“Being recognized as a Blue Ribbon School is a really big honor!” stated Mount Ayr Elementary principal Amy Bautistia. “Mount Ayr Elementary School is very deserving of this award! We’ve been in session for five weeks and the teachers and staff bend over backwards to help every student reach their full potential. What’s even better, is the same teachers and staff are also coaching these students in various activities, that continue to build their character! I am honored to be a part of this tremendous team and look forward to receiving their special recognition.”
“[This] really represents the hard work the Elementary staff has been doing as they worked through a pandemic… Teaching and Learning did not pause… Truly remarkable,” said Mount Ayr superintendent Jason Shaffer. “We will be looking into attending a recognition in Washington, D.C. to receive the plaque… I am very happy for our district and communities.”
“These schools are to be congratulated for their Blue Ribbon status,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “This is a prestigious recognition that underscores how these schools ensure they meet the needs of all students. That’s accomplished through the dedication of Iowa administrators, educators and staff in making sure students are prepared for their futures.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now with the addition of its 39th cohort, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
The award recognizes 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.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon Schools nominations from the top education officials 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.