14 answers

What Is a Blue Ribbon School ??

I am wondering what does it mean to be a blue ribbon school... ?? Is blue ribbon status an important factor in picking a school?? Should blue ribbon status count more than high meap scores?? Do meap scores mean anything really? We have a 2 year old - she is nto ready for school.. but we are trying to figure out how to pick a good school for her..

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L.,

I have no idea what a blue ribbon school is and I've been teaching for eight years.

Heather

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I graduated from a blue ribbon school, it also had high MEAP scores. Blue ribbon schools are a sign of it's achievements and how good of a school it is. Blue Ribbon status and high MEAP scores should go hand in hand - in theory. My husband and I relied heavily on MEAP scores when looking at schools for our daughter. We live in Grand Rapids Public district, and traditionally they have not had the highest MEAP rating. In fact the elementary school she should be going to in the Fall hasn't rated higher than a D the last four years. However, you should also look at how the school district as a whole operates. GRPS has known issues, and has had for some time. Parents have to look at all of the available options - and with private schools (that cost money) and Charter schools (that are free), not to mention school of choice, there are a lot of options out there. We did opt to put our daughter in one of the National Heritage Charter Academy's - which is rated very high in the nation.

As an elementary school teacher, and a mom of an 18 month old, I have been thinking about this a lot too! I have the options to send my child to the school where I work or where I live. My best advice is to visit the schools and look at the control, respect, and behaviors of the students. I want to know my child is in a safe and respectful environment with other children who are respectful and can follow the rules. As far as the academics in elementary school, any educated parent can find out the curriculum on the state or school website and make sure there child is reaching the maximum academic levels. Blue Ribbon does mean that the school has performed well in a variety of areas, but to me, it is not something I would consider in choosing a school.

L.,

I'm not sure of what a blue ribbon school is either? But I would put emphasize on the meap test. It will tell you how well that the school is teaching the kids. Not all kids are good test takers and some will do bad but when a school is getting a D that has to say something about that school. The district I live in is falling all the way thru High school. My kids do not attended there we chose a private school that we love. The falling school district have large class sizes and some of there rules are not safe for the children. Like the except children even kindergarten's to walk a mile to school I think that is too far. I think you should not only look at the school meap and how it run but also look at parent involvement in the school. This will say a lot about how the school is run and what type of class mates your child will have. Also keep in mind that an A+ school now could be a terrible school in 3yrs. I would start comparing them a year from the date she is suppose to be attending. Also if you are doing school of choice have several option open because they may not have opening in the school you want. That is how we ended up at a private school none of our options had open spots. hope this helps M.

I once had a superintendant tell a friend of mine who was moving out of state to look at the High School program options. You can tell a lot about the focus of school district on, mainly how many extra sports programs do they have versus Advanced Placement programs, and fine arts programs. Meaning if they are fortunate enough to have LaCross, Swimming, Equestrian, Hockey then they should have at least 4 forms of Advancement placement classes as well as art programs such as Music Ensambles, Jazz Bands, pottery, etc. If they have more non traditional sports programs (track, soccer, baseball, basketball, football) than AP then their focus is not on education enough.

I agree that under 25 is ideal but not always possible in all districts. We as parents have to remember at the elementary age we still need to be involved in making sure our child is "getting it". We can sit and blame the schools for not doing thier job when we are not doing ours.

Hi when we were looking we just Googled "compare schools michigan" and there are many websites dedicated to picking the right schools for your child. It takes awhile but the time is well spent.

Good Luck and God Bless
K.

L.,

I have no idea what a blue ribbon school is and I've been teaching for eight years.

Heather

I found this at http://blueribbon.rmcres.com/

The No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their state or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.

Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals. Using standards of excellence evidenced by student achievement measures and the characteristics known from research to epitomize school quality, the Department celebrates schools that beat the odds.

High poverty, tough neighborhoods, tight budgets, teacher turnover, assessment fatigue, high percentages of English language learners, teachers unprepared for their instructional duties-schools have identified many reasons over the decades to explain their failure to teach all students successfully. At the same time, communities, states, and the nation have raised the bar, and the stakes, for school achievement.

With commitment, high energy, research-based knowledge of what works in schools, and the results of quality assessments, NCLB-Blue Ribbon Schools have shown us the way over these and other hurdles.

I'm not sure you should base your school pick on MEAP scores. I think your best bet would be to research the schools by talking to parents and looking at the graduation rate and what is taught. Also you could talk to teachers.

Blue ribbon is the top honor in competitions. Go to a dog show or livestock show and the top winner gets a blue ribbon. Cooking contests, pie contests (check out the state fair this August) and the best gets the blue ribbon.

So a blue ribbon school would be one that's been given high qualifications, endorsement, quality, that it gets a blue ribbon.

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