U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized Coventry's George Hersey Robertson Intermediate School (GHR) as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2020. This recognition is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
"Congratulations to this year's National Blue Ribbon School awardees," said Secretary DeVos. "It's a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students' needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives."
The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:
- Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state's highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state's highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school's student groups and all students.
George Hersey Robertson Intermediate School is recognized for being an Exemplary High Performing School.
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of GHR educators, families, and the Coventry community in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. As of 2018, there were 130,930 public and private schools in the nation. With 367 public and private schools being recognized, this places GHR in the top 99.72% of schools in the United States.
Coventry Superintendent of Schools, Dr. David J. Petrone said of the recognition, "Having been in the district for 20 years, I can appreciate just how far this school has come. To be chosen as an award recipient by The National Blue Ribbon Schools program is such an honor. This acknowledgement is due to the outstanding building leaders and their dedicated and talented staff."
Connecticut Commissioner of Education, Dr. Miguel A. Cardona, wrote today in an email to GHR Principal Jennifer DeRagon and Dr. Petrone, "Congratulations on the announcement of George Hersey Robertson as a Blue Ribbon School! This speaks volumes about your great leadership. Becoming a Blue Ribbon School cannot happen without strong leadership. Thank you for your commitment to the students of Coventry and for earning this prestigious national award."
The following is a summary provided by Ms. DeRagon, "We are a dynamic school of approximately 375 students in Grades 3-5. We promote a positive learning environment that inspires innovation and confidence. Our staff is dedicated to educate and empower all students and we have established essential partnerships with families to support our students. GHR promotes kindness through our philosophy of C.A.R.E.S. (cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy and self-control).
Teachers take ownership in the school improvement process, working together to analyze student work, revise curriculum, lead professional development, and engage in their own differentiated professional growth. Students are also in charge of their own learning, as they develop portfolios of their work, set goals and track growth across subject areas, and then conduct their own student-led conferences each spring. Students have a voice at GHR through an active Student Council and other leadership opportunities.
Our school aligns our practices with our district wide Portrait of a Graduate, which focuses on developing our students into critical thinkers, engaged collaborators, effective communicators, empowered citizens, and authentic innovators. In the past two years, we have developed an innovation station for a collaborative space that promotes creativity, implemented Project Lead the Way for all students in grade 4, and provided 1:1 Chromebooks to support technology integration. Looking to support the social and emotional needs of students, we have developed a robust Morning Meeting and have promoted an atmosphere of equity and respect through restorative justice practices in an effort to strengthen relationships in our school."
GHR will be recognized at the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony which will be held virtually November 12 and 13, and the school will receive its plaque and flag via mail.
This information was provided in conjunction with Jennifer DeRagon, Principal of the G. H. Robertson School and Dr. David J. Petrone, Superintendent of Schools.