Crown Point, Valpo schools win National Blue Ribbons
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/648-3154 September 7, 2012 4:22PM
Why the Blue Ribbon?
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.
Updated: October 9, 2012 3:02PM
Two local elementaries, MacArthur from Crown Point and Northview in Valparaiso, have been named National Blue Ribbon schools by the U.S. Department of Education.
Only eight schools in Indiana received the honor. They’re among 269 schools nationwide. The award is based upon overall academic excellence or for making progress in improving student achievement.
Both schools have already held small celebrations to recognize the accomplishment.
The schools will be honored at a recognition ceremony in Washington Nov. 12-13. Each school will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their status as National Blue Ribbon schools.
Located in Cedar Lake, MacArthur is part of the Crown Point Community School Corp. Principal Marian Buchko, who’s headed the K-5 school for 16 years, says about 46 percent of her students meet federal poverty levels.
“Despite that, we’re excelling. Our test scores are in the high 90s. It’s a tribute to our staff and students,” she said.
She said her school has come a long way since 2004 when it was placed on probation under federal adequate yearly progress guidelines because of its low special education scores.
“We were bound and determined to overcome that,” said Buchko.
The school launched a variety of programs including one-on-one tutoring and recess remediation. The school also offers after school enrichment programs such as robotics, a geometry club and five different foreign language sessions.
At Northview, Principal Loren Hershberger praised his staff for caring deeply about their students.
“We really try to target specific academic needs that students have and we have incredible support from the district, we’ve had almost half our elementaries get this award and to me that says something about collaboration in the district.”
High academic achievement is becoming standard at Northview. In last spring’s ISTEP Plus scores, 100 percent of the third-graders passed both math and English portions and all the fourth-graders passed the math portion. Schoolwide, 95 percent passed the exam.
Hershberger also credited Northview’s former staffers. “We stand on the shoulders of teachers and administrators who have gone before us to create this culture.”