Otsego’s Otsego's Dix Street elementary is named ‘National Blue Ribbon School’

Dix Street Elementary School in Otsego was recently named by the U.S. Department of Education a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School.
Dix Street is one of only 342 schools nationwide and 13 in Michigan receiving the honor.
“I am so proud of the staff, students and parents of Dix Street Elementary,” said principal Mark Rollandini. “The teamwork, dedication and hard work of the members of the Dix Street community have paid off in this national recognition. What we do, as a team, every day to support the social, emotional, and academic growth of every child is why we qualified for such a prestigious award.”
District superintendent Jeffery Haase said, “We are extremely proud of, and excited for, our staff, students and their families for achieving this incredible honor.
“This was a school that was designated a Focus school in 2013, achieved the status of a Reward school the following year and is now nationally recognized for its achievement.
“This is an example of our district’s focus on the individual learner and commitment to our belief that all students can excel.”
The national award is designed to honor schools that are “on education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems,” according to the Education Department.
Schools are nominated by the state department of education after detailing their school practices. Schools may be nominated as “Exemplary High Performing”—among the top schools in a state—or “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing”—schools making the fastest progress in their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
District director of instruction Heather Kortlandt said, “Dix Street Elementary has embraced a culture of deep professional collaboration driven by data. The staff always puts the whole child at the center of all decisions and works tirelessly to impact student achievement.
“Each and every teacher, paraprofessional and support staff members have impacted the building leading to this blue ribbon status.”
School officials will represent Dix Street Elementary at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 6-7, where they will hear U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and esteemed educators share best practices and celebrate their hard-won achievements.
Rollandini said, “I am delighted to be a part of this celebration of learning and continuous growth at Dix Street.”
Dix Street celebrated the award locally Tuesday at their annual Family Fall Festival.

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