Concord, Long named Gold Star Schools

Concord and Long elementary schools are two of eight high-achieving schools statewide that recently were recognized by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as 2014 Missouri Gold Star Schools.

The announcement brings Lindbergh Schools’ total number of Gold Star recipients to seven, including Lindbergh High School; Sperreng Middle School; and Crest-wood, Kennerly and Sappington elementary schools, according to a news release.

The Gold Star Schools program is designed to identify schools that perform at a high level academically or have made exceptional progress while serving a significant portion of disadvantaged students.

Concord and Long both were selected based on their outstanding academic achievement. The schools rank No. 2 and No. 6 overall among Missouri elementary schools, respectively.

Concord and Long principals emphasize the importance of individualized instruction and family commitment to education as keys to student success. Teachers take risks and set goals, while maintaining standards of excellence in education.

“At Concord, our community doesn’t want to just excel, they want to be the best,” Principal Megan Stryjewski stated in the release. “Our teachers rely heavily on team collaboration, parent involvement, and high quality professional development to meet the high standards we have for our school. Students who need additional help have a tremendous amount of support.

“Support includes everything from reading and math intervention services to English language learning.”

Both schools also focus on developing the whole child through strong character education initiatives.

“Long prides itself on knowing every student and creating an environment where together our students can ‘imagine … believe … achieve,'” Principal Jana Parker stated in the release. “The staff at Long does not work in isolation. Our success, in large part, has to do with the commitment of our parents.”

“We are extremely proud of Concord and Long for this outstanding achievement,” Superintendent Jim Simpson stated. “Year after year, these schools rank among the top 10 elementary schools in Missouri for academic achievement, and that takes support from all levels — teachers, students and parents.”

The Gold Star Schools program was established by DESE in 1991 and aligns with the national Blue Ribbon Schools program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. Recipients of the state’s award have been nominated for national Blue Ribbon recognition. Blue Ribbon Schools must meet additional criteria and will be announced this fall by the U.S. Department of Education.