Roosevelt Elementary nominated for national Blue Ribbon award

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Nick Crow
Wednesday, February 19, 2014

JANESVILLE — Roosevelt Elementary is one of eight Wisconsin schools nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Schools program.

The award recognizes overall academic excellence or progress in improving student achievement.

"I'm very excited and proud of the staff," Roosevelt Principal Deanne Edlefsen said. "It's such an honor and testament to all the hard work everyone's done."

Roosevelt must now apply for the prize, which will be awarded in September.

"The teachers, school leaders and staff members as well as the school community come together to support high levels of learning," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers said in a written statement.

Janesville School District Superintendent Karen Schulte wrote in her blog that she was "delighted" to learn of the nomination.

"Roosevelt is no stranger to blue ribbons," Schulte wrote. "It is a Wisconsin School of Recognition, a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) School of Distinction and an Asian Society Confucius Classroom, one of the top 100 Chinese classroom in the nation."

The Blue Ribbon Campaign began in 1982 and has recognized nearly 7,000 of America's schools, according to a written release. Last year, 286 schools, seven in Wisconsin, earned the honor.

Edlefsen is in her first year at Roosevelt and was quick to credit staff at the school.

"Everyone is a piece of making this work," Edlefsen said. "It's an environment conducive to learning."

To be selected, Roosevelt must meet measurable academic objectives for the 2011-12 and 2012-13 school years. Awards will be given for two categories. One for "exemplary high performing schools" and another for "exemplary gap closing schools", according to the release.

High performing schools score in the top 15 percent on the state's reading and math assessments.

Gap closing schools will be awarded if at least 40 percent of their students are from disadvantaged background and have school report card index scores within the top 15 percent in the state, according to the release.

Roosevelt falls into the second category, Edlefsen said.

"It's important to give parents credit," Edlefsen said. "All students can learn and be high achievers. Our students set the bar high."

Nominated schools will be reviewed before winners are announced.

Kennedy Elementary School won the honor in 2011.

Aba Kumi, director of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, congratulated the school in a letter to Edlefsen.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are producing outstanding results for all students," Kumi wrote. "They have demonstrated consistent excellence, and made progress in closing gaps in student achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition program is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about effective school leadership and promising instructional practices."

Other Wisconsin schools nominated are:

-- Cedarburg High School, Cedarburg School District.

-- Fennimore Elementary School, Fennimore Community School District.

-- Lakeshore Elementary School, Fond du Lac School District.

-- Ozaukee Middle School in Fredonia, Northern Ozaukee School District.

-- Prairie View Elementary School, Mukwonago School District.

-- Spring Valley Elementary School, Antigo Unified School District.

-- Westside Elementary School, River Falls School District.

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