- Sponsorship -

Blue Ribbon Schools: ‘Not Built Overnight’

Principal Shares a Few Ingredients of Recipe for Success

Anthony Morey says he doesn’t know the magic recipe to being designated a Blue Ribbon School. But the Wealthy Elementary School principal is pretty confident about a few of the ingredients, and says every school in the district has them in their mix.

Wealthy Elementary recently was named one of 13 schools in the state and just 335 nationwide to be designated as a Blue Ribbon School. Other honorees from the region were Brown Elementary in Byron Center Public Schools, Bursley Elementary in Jenison Public Schools and Forest Grove Elementary in Hudsonville Public Schools.

“It would be audacious of me to try to put my finger on the one thing, but it really is attributable to the whole school community,” Morey said. “I think to achieve this reflects that we’re firing on all cylinders.”

Wealthy Elementary Principal Anthony Morey outside a fourth grade classroom, where students work with pop-bottle insect habitats made with help from parent volunteers

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, started in 1982, honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

The organization allows a proportional number of schools to be invited by every state to apply. Wealthy Elementary put together a team to contribute to the application, Morey said.

“It’s almost like an accreditation process,” he said. “There’s a narrative form, data sets you provide over a five-year period… working through that was a multi-month project.”

Morey thinks the district’s increased test scores in elementary math and science helped bolster their application, as well as the adoption of new teaching materials, a renewed focus on writing, strong parental involvement and, of course, committed teachers.

“Effective school systems aren’t built overnight,” Morey acknowledged. “We don’t rest on our laurels and we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us.”

“It’s really an acknowledgment of the work we do collectively as a school system,” said district Superintendent Dr. Sara Magaña Shubel.

The Department will honor 285 public and 50 private schools nationally at the recognition ceremony on Nov. 9-10 in Washington, D.C. In its 33-year history, the program has bestowed the award on more than 8,000 of America’s schools.

Throughout its history, all EGRPS elementary schools, middle school and high school have received various recognitions from both a state and national perspective on quality teaching and learning environments. Both the high school and the middle school are past Blue Ribbon honorees.

CONNECT

National Blue Ribbon Schools Program

- Sponsorship -
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema
Morgan Jarema is a Grand Rapids native and a product of Grand Rapids Public Schools, including Brookside and West Leonard elementaries, City Middle/High School and Ottawa Hills. She found her tribe in journalism in 1997 and has never wanted to do anything but write. For 15 years she was a freelance journalist for The Grand Rapids Press, covering local schools and government, religion, business, home & garden and lifestyles. She and her husband, John, think even those without kiddos should be invested in their local schools and made to feel a part of them. Read Morgan's full bio or email Morgan.

LATEST ARTICLES

The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

‘I want it to look happy’

With help from generous donors, elementary teachers worked to make welcoming, kid-friendly space while following the rules of social distancing and sanitation...

New VP says ‘It feels like joining a family’

Aaron Romoslawski is the new vice principal of Sparta High School. He takes over for Stacey Rumsey, who was named Sparta High School principal last spring...

The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Making the best of it

Students, parents, teachers and others share their feelings about the start of this unprecedented school year...

Here come the students; schools try to be ‘prepared for everything’

Area school districts have to be able to switch instruction plans if the pandemic fires up again, and be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in one of their schools...

Ready or not, school year begins as leaders adopt plans to teach, protect students

With most of Kent County’s public school districts opening next week, superintendents talk about their plans to educate students while trying to keep them safe from an unpredictable virus...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS