Concord, Long named Blue Ribbon schools

Concord and Long elementary schools have been named 2014 Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Seven public schools in Missouri, including six elementary schools, have been selected for this prestigious honor, according to a Lindbergh Schools news release. Nationwide, 337 schools — 287 public and 50 private — earned the 2014 honor, according to an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

Concord and Long teachers and staff celebrated the announcement this week with Blue Ribbon parades and Culver’s frozen custard for every student. These elementary schools are the fourth and fifth Lindbergh schools in four years to earn Blue Ribbon. Past recipients include Crestwood Elementary School, 2011; Lindbergh High School, 2012; and Sappington Elementary School, 2013.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. To qualify in the “Exemplary High Performing” category, Concord and Long were recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education — that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” Duncan stated in the news release. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”

Both Lindbergh principals say that strong teacher collaboration, individualized instruction, focused professional development and support from families are key to achieving this national honor.

“Concord’s highly qualified teachers are the root of our success, and this honor is reflective of their commitment to provide individualized instruction to each student,” Principal Megan Stryjewski stated. “Our teachers spend time each week in professional learning communities setting goals, analyzing student growth, and collaborating on ways to meet the individual needs of each child.”

Long Principal Jana Parker noted that as her school enrollment continues to grow, teachers remain committed to providing stellar education and meeting students’ needs outside of the classroom walls.

“Highly qualified teachers and staff give 110 percent every day and pride themselves on knowing every child and creating an environment where students can imagine … believe … achieve,” she stated.