Mast Way Elementary School in Lee has been recognized as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education as an “Exemplary High Performing School.” This award recognizes schools based on their overall academic excellence as performing in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state ranked on statewide testing performance.
According to the school’s application profile, 10% of students are eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch, and 9% receive special education services. The school highlighted its approach to personalized learning, crediting differentiated instruction as a key part of student success:
“Teachers are well versed in best practices for differentiated instruction. Within each classroom setting, teacher analyze student achievements and personalize instruction to match and challenge individual learners. The task of meeting a wide variety of needs is challenging yet necessary. Using many different materials, resources and quality materials, teachers continue to challenge and support all learners. Collaborating with
one another and seeking unique options opens doors to new and innovative teaching models as well.”
As part of their application, Mast Way Elementary School shared how they promote a positive school climate and culture for students:
“At Mast Way, students know this is their school. As buses arrive each day, students enter the building with smiles on their faces, a friendly greeting and an excitement to learning for the day. Teachers make sure students feel comfortable and respected in their school environment by posting a daily welcome message on a centrally located white board. Each morning, a few students are invited to the office to lead the school in the Pledge of Allegiance, announce birthdays for the day and greet their classmates over the school intercom. This routine helps to announce the start of a new day and provide students in all grades with an exciting leadership opportunity.”
They also included ways they engage families, from bi-weekly newsletters to strong family-teacher communications. They host regular family events, like parent/student breakfasts, poetry teas, and science fairs, and highlighted family and community engagement as an integral part of their positive school culture.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. Now in its 36th year, the U. S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,800 schools.
The DOE will hold an awards ceremony on November 7 and 8 in Washington, DC.