ongratulations to Sappington Elementary School, which was named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education this Tuesday. Eight public schools in Missouri, including two elementary schools, have been selected for this prestigious honor. A total of 286 schools ‒ 236 public and 50 private ‒ earned the honor nationwide this year, according to an announcement made Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement. To qualify in the “Exemplary High Performing” category, Sappington was recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” said Secretary Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”
With 614 students, Sappington Elementary School is the largest and the fastest-growing of Lindbergh Schools’ five elementaries. It is also the third Lindbergh school to earn Blue Ribbon in the past two years.
“The addition of 124 homes in the Grant’s View subdivision at Musick and Gravois roads is concrete evidence that more families than ever are seeking a quality education for their children in the Lindbergh district,” said Superintendent Dr. Jim Simpson. “Sappington’s exemplary performance underscores that quality, which has helped to make our district No. 1 in Missouri for four consecutive years.”
Principal Craig Hamby says his school is fortunate to have strong teacher collaboration and excellent focus in its professional development.
“We choose a best practice, we train our teachers how to do it, and then we execute it consistently,” Hamby said. “Every grade teaches math or reading the same way, so teachers can collaborate well. Students benefit because instruction is consistent not only across grade levels, but also from school to school.”
Hamby added that children who need additional help receive intervention services to support literacy and math instruction, and English language learning.
Students and parents are dedicated partners who support the teacher-learning process. More than 98 percent of parents attended this year’s “Meet the Teacher” night, emphasizing the importance of parent involvement in educational success.
Sappington is also a caring community, locally and globally. Last spring, the school generated widespread support for a fellow student who was killed by sponsoring a drive-through lemonade stand. “Lemonade for Lonnie” brought together media, businesses and community members to raise enough money to cover the young boy’s funeral expenses.