Crestwood Elementary earns National Blue Ribbon School Award

Crestwood Elementary School on Thursday was named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. To qualify in the “high performing” category, Crestwood was required to meet Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, targets in all subgroups, making achievement of this honor more challenging than in previous years, according to a news release.

Crestwood Elementary also is the only school in the United States to achieve both the National Blue Ribbon award and the National School of Character award in 2011.

“This is the highest honor our educators can achieve — winning Blue Ribbon is like winning the Nobel Prize of education,” Lindbergh Schools Superintendent Jim Simpson stated in the release. “We are very proud of the students and staff at Crestwood whose concerted efforts have resulted in some of the best achievement scores in the state.”

Crestwood is the only school in St. Louis to earn the honor and one of only four in Missouri, according to the release. High performing schools such as Crestwood must rank among the best in their state on reading and math assessments such as the Missouri Assessment Program, or MAP, tests.

Crestwood ranks eighth in student achievement among all 911 elementary schools in Missouri.

“The three key ingredients to earning the Blue Ribbon award are outstanding students, talented staff and supportive parents working together toward the same goal,” Crestwood Elementary Principal Scott Taylor stated in the release. “Our school motto says that ‘the spirit of learning soars and character grows’ at Crestwood, and that has never been more true than today. I am so proud of our staff, and our boys and girls, and how hard they have worked to excel.”

Taylor credits his school’s use of data analysis and best practices in instruction with their success in helping every child succeed.

“The incredible support we receive from our Board of Education and central office, in addition to the wonderful learning culture in our school have made this special honor possible,” Taylor stated. “This is the most significant educational honor of my 30-year career.”