Burton Elementary School receives National Blue Ribbon award

(Photo courtesy Madison School District)

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REXBURG — For the second year in a row, a Madison School District elementary school has been designated a Blue Ribbon School.

Last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos announced that Burton Elementary School was one of two Idaho schools and one of 362 schools in the country to receive the honor. Chief Joseph Elementary School in Meridian also received the award.

Last year the Madison district’s Lincoln Elementary School was named a Blue Ribbon School.

“We’ve had two in a row. We’re very pleased. I think it’s a sign of a great supportive community, involved parents, great students, caring teachers and good solid leadership,” said Madison School District Superintendent Geoffrey Thomas.

The school received a plaque as well as a cash award.

Thomas is thrilled for Burton.

“We really have great kids, very supportive and involved parents. That makes the whole difference for Burton and Lincoln and all of our schools,” he said.

In a news release, Devos said that a Blue Ribbon award shows that a school is achieving academically and is also closing achievement gaps in various student subgroups. The Blue Ribbon school’s website reports that such schools are in the top 15 percent in closing those achievement gaps in English and mathematics during the past five years as measured by state assessments.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives” DeVos said in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”

The National Blue Ribbon award program is in its 37th year and has been given to more than 9,000 schools.

Former Secretary of Education, Terrel H. Bell created the National Blue Ribbon School Program in 1982 in hopes of bringing attention to the country’s best schools. It also was created to share the best teaching practices with other schools, the website said.

Thomas said Burton Principal Landon LeFevre plans to attend the program’s November awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

“It’s always nice to be recognized for the hard work and dedication of our teachers and support staff. We’re very proud of Lincoln and Burton and all of our schools,” Thomas said.

For information on the Blue Ribbon Schools visit nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/about-us/.