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Elementary picked for national honor

Dublin Elementary was honored as one of only 26 schools across Texas’ 11,000 public, private and charter schools nominated for recognition as a Blue Ribbon School.

The honor was proposed by the Texas Education Agency, who compiles a select list of nominees every year that are submitted to the U.S. Department of Education.

“Our teachers and students have worked so hard,” said Dublin Elementary Principal Lisa Weaver. “It’s a wonderful honor to even be nominated.”

This nomination follows stellar scores in accountability ratings released by TEA in August, where it scored an overall 95 and a 100 in closing performance gaps.

There are two criteria for a public school’s nomination. The first is being in the top 15 percent of all public schools in “closing the gap between the performance of the school’s subgroup and the state’s all-students group.” This score is made by comparing the most recent STAAR tests to those taken 2 to 4 years prior.

Schools can also be selected by being a “high performing” school in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state, which Dublin ISD superintendent Rodney Schneider credits as the reason for the campus’ selection.

The Blue Ribbon program also requires one-third of each state’s selection come from schools with at least 40 percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. About 75 percent of Dublin’s enrollment qualifies as disadvantaged.

Disadvantaged may include students who are economically disadvantaged, limited English proficient, migrant students or receiving services under TitleIof theElementary and Secondary Education Act.

Weaver indicated the road to this nomination has been a long one but the goal has always been preparing each student to the best of their abilities.

“The staff has just been doing their job and [the nomination] just came up,” Weaver said.

This success stems from coordination between all teachers and all grade levels.

“You would not know there’s not a STAAR test in Pre-K,” Weaver said, indicating goals set on students to help them prepare for success as early as possible.

She elaborated that “smart goals” are set for each student and regularly reviewed and readjusted (every three weeks) so students can progress at their own speed, jetting through concepts they grasp and focusing in on things that take them longer to comprehend.

Weaver said this system started when Assistant SuperintendentMelissa Summers stepped up as principal of the campus. Weaver said the intervention program Summers started laid the foundation for what they do today.

Summers is still coming to the school’s aid as she and her assistant, Melanie Belew, will be working on the rigorous application process through the Department of Education for the school to be named as an official Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Secretary of Education in September.

(This effort by Summers and Belew will allow the Elementary to continue its focus on student success as it enters a particularly busy point in the school year.)

In the meantime, Dublin Elementary is celebrating just being nominated for the distinction. The school marked the achievement by passing out 500 popsicles to students and staff on Friday.

“It takes us all,” Weaver said of the school’s success. “We have great people committed to student success from teachers to bus drivers, custodians and cafeteria workers. This reward is for everyone.”

Schneider echoed and expandedthissentiment by saying the student success was through “a collaborative team effort to the school, the community, businesses and organizations,” saying that everyone’s support allows them to perform to their best abilities.

Dublin Citizen

938 N. Patrick
Dublin, TX 76446
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