Hansen Recognized as National Blue Ribbon School

Cedar Falls Community School District’s Hansen Elementary is one of  279 public and 50 private schools across the country recognized today byU.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2016. The award is based on overall academic excellence and Hansen is recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School. The Iowa Department of Education nominates up to five schools per year from throughout the state for this prestigious award.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. 

“We are thrilled to be recognized as a Blue Ribbon School! This award solidifies the work we do each day to provide our students with exceptional learning opportunities. This is an award shared with each school in our District as it confirms the exceptional work we have done to become a true Professional Learning Community. Hansen Elementary will continue to achieve our vision of providing high levels of learning for each and every student,” said Tara Estep, Principal at Hansen Elementary.

Pam Zeigler, Director of Elementary Education for Cedar Falls Schools, said, “The Hansen school community can be very proud of this well-deserved award. The staff, parents, and students have done a great job of setting a school-wide vision. Through collaborative efforts, a multi-tiered system of supports has been put into place to ensure high levels of learning for all students.”

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools.  On November 7 and 8, the Department will formally recognize the schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
·Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their respective state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
·Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their respective state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

“It is also important to recognize the entire Cedar Falls community in this honor. It is the outstanding partnerships and connections shared within and among our community, staff, students and parents that is to be applauded. This achievement is a celebration of their work and commitment to student success. We focus on every student, every day, and will continue to do so. This is a great honor, but the work continues for us to provide excellence in education to all our students,” said Dr. Andy Pattee, Superintendent of Cedar Falls Schools.

The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states.