It’s no secret that each of Valley Stream’s 14 school communities take pride in offering a challenging and excellent academic program. But one school’s excellence was recently recognized by the New York State Department of Education and will be considered for a national award.
District 30’s Shaw Avenue Elementary School was nominated by the NYSED to the U.S. Department of Education for the 2013 Blue Ribbon Award on Nov. 21. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes both public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ level of academic achievement on a national level. In 30 years, nearly 7,000 schools across the country have gotten the award, including 269 schools in 2012.
“I was absolutely ecstatic to be recognized for all of the work that the teachers in this building, the parents in the community and the students have been doing over the years,” said Johane Ligonde, principal at Shaw.
Shaw was recognized for its academic achievement, specifically on the 2011-12 state English language arts and math assessments. Four out of five students in grades three through six passed the ELA assessment while 87.3 passed the math portion, considerably higher than both the state and county averages.
Superintendent Dr. Nicholas Stirling said Shaw’s nomination simply confirmed his beliefs that District 30’s three schools are all of high caliber. He added that the district has a strong recipe for success with a Board of Education and parents who have high expectations, a dedicated staff, strong leadership at the building and district levels, and a community that understands the importance of investing in its children.
“Anytime you’re in a process of growth and change it’s always good to be reflective and at the same time have independent organizations and institutions validate the work that’s being done,” Stirling said.
In addition to Shaw’s strong test scores, Ligonde attributes the nomination to hard work and teamwork at her school, but added that it’s not just one building’s honor.