U.S. Department of Education recognizes LES as a National Blue Ribbon School
The U.S. Department of Education recognized Lexington Elementary School as a National Blue Ribbon School on Wednesday. The Indiana Four-Star School is one of a handful of public schools south of Bloomington, Ind., to receive the distinction in the 34-year history of the Blue Ribbon Award.
“This is a huge honor as it is a national award. It means that Lexington Elementary School has some of the best data in the United States,” said Dr. Marc Slaton, superintendent of Scott County School District 2. “This is a great honor for our school district as a whole, for Lexington Elementary School, and for our community in Scott County. This award puts a positive spotlight on Scott County, our school district, and our community.”
The Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award is not a competitive award — it is based on merit — so less than one percent of public schools in America receive the honor. The National Blue Ribbon Award is given to schools who demonstrate overall academic excellence or demonstrate progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, according to the Department of Education’s website.
“Of the tens of thousands of schools in America, only 335 win. That’s pretty significant,” Lexington Elementary School Principal Nick South said. “We have a great staff, proven curriculum, and great community support.”
Lexington Elementary School has a strong academic tradition, South said. For nearly a decade, the Scott County, Ind., school has received an “A” accountability grade from the Indiana Department of Education. The state-accredited school recently placed in the top 25th percentile of Indiana schools for its achievement on Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress.
“Lexington Elementary School has a true family atmosphere and have been blessed with great leadership through the years and have excellent teachers and staff members. I would say those two factors coupled with quality class sizes and fidelity to best practices and using the resources that they have been given have led to the success that Lexington has seen,” Slaton said.
At Lexington Elementary School, the community, the teachers and staff, and the students work together to encourage educational excellence. The school uses a blended approach of traditional methods and modern technology, using what works best for the students and their achievement, South said. Each student uses a school-issued iPad; the entire school district is an 1:1 learning environment.
“We say, ‘We’re your other family.’,” South said. “The community, teachers, and the students — we’re intertwined.”
South said the school-hosted events are well-attended by parents, staff, students, and the community. During parent-teacher conferences, the school has 100 percent participation from its families. It also has many parent and community volunteers, offers field trips for its students, and its parent-teacher organization has a strong presence. The local businesses and churches work together to make sure the students have supplies to help the students succeed.
“We have a strong connection with the community,” South said. “We have phenomenal teachers who bend over backwards to help our children.”
In addition to Lexington Elementary School’s success, Scott County School District 2 has had its share of successes.
“While this award definitely puts a positive spotlight on Lexington Elementary School, I think this award shines a positive light on our entire district — all of our elementary schools, our Apple Distinguished Middle School, and Scottsburg High School. While LES has been recognized as a Four-Star School and USDOE Blue Ribbon School, all of our schools have done well in various areas,” Slaton said. “Thus, families that are looking for a quality school district that truly loves children and cares about the overall well-being and development of the child should look no further than Scott 2.”
Lexington Elementary School is located within 30 minutes of downtown Louisville, Ky. It will soon be directly connected to Louisville when the East End Bridge is completed later this year.
“In addition, Scott County has some of the best property tax rates in the region. I would challenge families that are looking to relocate to this region for jobs and quality education to take a good, long, hard look at Scott County School District 2,” Slaton said.