Hollywood Elementary named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019

Nathan Calvert works with his fifth-grade class at Hollywood Elementary School in Beckley in the Raspberry Pi computer lab. 

Hollywood Elementary School in Beckley has been named as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019 for its overall academic excellence and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, demonstrating all students can achieve to high levels. 

The school is one of 362 public and private schools across the country to receive the recognition by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos.   

Two other schools in West Virginia — Greenmont Elementary School in Vienna and West Teays Elementary School in Hurricane — have also been given the designation.

All schools earned distinction in one of two performance categories based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

• Exemplary High Performing Schools are among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

• Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Paine said the Blue Ribbon honorees represent the hard work occurring in West Virginia schools and the dedication of its educators, school staff, students and families. 

“These three schools hail from three very distinct regions and exemplify how our students may excel even in the midst of difficult circumstances facing our communities and our state as a whole,” Paine said.

Superintendent of Raleigh County Schools David Price told The Register-Herald he was incredibly proud of Hollywood Elementary, and is proud they represent Raleigh County Schools in this way. 

"Congratulations to Principal Tamber Hodges, all the school staff and teachers over there, they have all done an incredible job," Price said. 

A press release stated throughout its 37-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has affirmed the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

"The award flag gracing a school’s building has been widely recognized by everyone – from parents to policymakers – as a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning."

In a release, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., congratulated the West Virginia schools being recognized. 

“I am proud of our three elementary schools in West Virginia that have received the well-deserved recognition of their incredible work," Manchin said. "The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is the perfect acknowledgement for these students, educators, families, and communities and the work they have done to ensure the success of these students." 

U.S. Congresswoman Carol Miller, R-W.Va., also sent her congratulations in a separate release. 

“Our children are our future, and our educators play a crucial role in preparing them to enter the world," Miller said. "Congratulations to Hollywood Elementary School for being named a Blue Ribbon School. This achievement could not have been made without the hard work of every teacher, student, administrator, and family member." 

Representatives from each awarded school will be recognized at a ceremony Nov. 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C., and each school will be presented with an award plaque and a flag as symbols of their accomplishments.

— Email: jnelson@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @jnelsonRH

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