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Westside nominated for national award

MADISON — State Superintendent Tony Evers nominated eight schools for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which recognizes overall academic excellence or progress in improving student achievement.

One of the nominees was Westside Elementary School, 1007 W. Pine St.

“I was surprised…I am humbled by this nomination. It truly is a team effort from the entire staff at Westside — no matter what job description someone has,” said Westside Principal Rita Humbert.

Said Humbert: “Good test scores don’t happen without first developing relationships with children — assuring children feel safe, that they feel loved, and they know the adults at their school care about them. The staff at my school, now and in the past, have always prided themselves on building positive relationships with the children — it is a priority both in words and in actions. This award comes on the backs of former and present staff, strong parent involvement, and, over time, building a school climate that supports the affective needs of students in addition to the academic needs.”

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program began in 1982 and has recognized nearly 7,000 of America’s schools since that time.

Awards will be given in two categories. “Exemplary High Performing Schools” are those that are in the top 15% for performance levels on the state’s reading and mathematics assessments and disaggregated results for subgroups of students show similar academic achievement.

“Exemplary Gap Closing Schools” have at least 40% of students from disadvantaged backgrounds and have school report card “Closing Gaps” index scores in the top 15% of the state.

Schools nominated to the program must complete the Blue Ribbon Schools application and undergo the national review process. Awards are typically announced in early September.

See the full article in the Feb. 20 edition of the Journal.