Johnson City Schools’ newest gem, Fairmont Elementary School, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School based on their overall academic excellence and success in closing achievement gaps.
It is only one of two elementary schools recognized statewide, the other is in Dayton, Tenn.
The new 93,000-square-foot $14.3 million school, replacing the original Fairmont on the same campus, opened Aug. 4 to rave reviews by students, parents, teachers, administrators and members of the community. It serves more than 500 students in grades pre-K through five.
“Any of our Johnson City Schools could be Blue Ribbon Schools, and we feel very honored to be recognized on behalf of our system,” said Carol McGill, Fairmont’s principal. “Our community stakeholders, committed staff, and exceptional students made this award possible.”
Director of Schools Richard Bales said he was not surprised by the Fairmont award.
“Congratulations to Mrs. McGill and the Fairmont community as this award represents the commitment to achievement and excellence,” he said. “This award exemplifies the quality work that takes place every day in every classroom at Fairmont.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private schools based on one of two criteria: schools whose students are high performing or schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels as measured by the school’s performance on state assessments or comparisons to national norms.
“America’s long-term economic prosperity and civic engagement depends on our children receiving a world-class education,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said Thursday in a press release. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are committed to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success in college and careers. Their success is an example for others to follow.”
The department will honor 255 public and 49 private schools at their National Blue Ribbon School awards ceremony and conference Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C.
A list of the 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools is available at http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.