Westport Public Schools proves absent in 2016 National Blue Ribbon honorees release

Westport Public Schools proves absent in 2016 National Blue Ribbon honorees release

Becky Hoving ’17, Managing Editor

The U.S. Department of Education announced this year’s National Blue Ribbon Schools on Sept. 28, 2016, yet not one of the 329 schools awarded were in Fairfield County.

In years past, Fairfield County schools have frequented the National Blue Ribbon Program’s list, which publishes annually. Jefferson Science Magnet School in Norwalk received recognition in 2014 and Staples High School and Weston High School did in 2013.

Assistant Principal Patrick Micinilio spoke to this measure, commenting on Staples’ excellence despite not being awarded. “I think we should be a Blue Ribbon school yearly,” he said. “We’re that good.”

Micinilio recognized that the Program might want to spread around the awards, and that he is unsure what criteria honorees are evaluated on.

“I don’t know exactly what the criteria is, but the fact that nobody from Fairfield county was awarded is a little surprising to me for sure,” he said.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Education’s website, National Blue Ribbon Schools can be recognized in two ways with different sets of evaluation.

“Exemplary High Performing Schools” is one category of recognition, where at a minimum the school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state based on test scores and graduation rates. States also are allowed to set their own standards beyond these minimum requirements.

The Program also awards “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools,” where recognition is awarded for closing test score gaps and increasing graduation rates over the past five years.

But despite the absence in recognition of any Westport Public Schools, students and faculty alike remain unwavering in their belief of Staples’ excellence.

“I know we go to a good school even without an award,” Hayley Foote ’17 said.  

Photo used under the Creative Commons license