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Girard school receives Blue Ribbon

Fourth- to sixth-graders recognized by US Department of Education

Staff photo / Bob Coupland Gabriella Anderson, 10, a fifth-grade student at Girard Intermediate School, speaks with Principal Julianne Ware, right, at school Tuesday. Girard Intermediate School received a national Blue Ribbon Award for student test scores.

GIRARD — Girard Intermediate School will be receiving a special award as the U.S. Department of Education has named it a National Blue Ribbon school.

Principal Julianne Ware said the award recognizes the staff and students at the fourth-to sixth-grade school for high achievement on state tests and student achievement in learning.

“It was a national nomination submitted last year by a local team who wrote an application, and we received word we had been chosen for the award,” Ware said.

In 2019, the school had an overall “A” ranking for test scores.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance and / or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

She said the nominations are for the school’s high test scores and other student data in 2019, what the teachers and students did during the entire school year and how the staff is supporting the students, including during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ware praised the staff and students for their hard and dedicated work each day at the school.

“We want to celebrate our students who are fantastic and hard-working. They deserve to be recognized in all regards, not just from the test scores,” Ware said.

She said test scores are just one part of the award. It’s also based on daily learning and other school programs.

Prospect Elementary for grades kindergarten to three has received the recognition in the past as well.

District Superintendent Bryan O’Hara said at Tuesday’s school board meeting: “It is gratifying without a doubt and a true reflection of our motto in Girard: We are Girard. We are family and we take care of each other.”

He said the award shows the collaboration and dedication of the administration, teachers, students, families and the community.

“We are fortunate here in Girard to have many resources of support for all of our students including our vulnerable population. We are able to integrate the resources into a solid foundation to benefit all students,” O’Hara said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes elementary, middle and high schools that are making significant progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, or whose students achieve high overall academic excellence.

The U.S. Department of Education allows the Ohio Department of Education to nominate 16 public schools each year. At least one-third of the 16 must have 40 percent or more of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The nomination categories are Exemplary High Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.

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