Union Elementary recognized as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School


By Renee Larr

Union Elementary School has been recognized as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Dept. of Education. This year 279 public schools and 50 private received the honor.



“Our school is very proud that we were nominated and received this honor. I think it gives credence to the fact that there has been a long history of great work from our teachers, our leadership, our students and our parents,” Union Principal Jennifer Raycroft said. “We’ve got such a supportive community here. Parents send their kids ready to learn every day and are very involved in their children’s education. I think that goes a long way. It’s helped us to focus on helping our kids grow. That focus on student growth has been the biggest determining factor in receiving this honor.”

The process of being nominated, filling out an application and then waiting to hear if the school had won took several months. Educators from the school will travel to Washington, D.C., Nov. 7 and 8 to receive the award and be recognized on a national stage.

“Kathy Roy is our literacy coach, so she works with students to give them intervention services. As a coach she provides professional development for all our classroom teachers,” Raycroft said. “In thinking about who to bring, she was just a great representation of all our students and staff. She impacts everyone.”

To be chosen, schools must rank in the top 15 percent of all schools on ISTEP assessments in both reading and mathematics.

The staff at Union focuses on day-to-day, high-quality instruction rather than standardized testing preparation.

“We don’t have a huge emphasis on preparing our students for standardized testing,” Raycroft said. “I think our teachers know that giving our kids high-quality instruction will transfer to any sort of means of assessment.”

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