ACGC in Running for Blue Ribbon Schools 22 Jan 14

What was recently termed a Superman-like leap in student performance at the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City Schools has attracted far more than local attention.

The West Central Tribune reports the Minnesota Department of Education has chosen ACGC and Brainerd as Minnesota’s two nominees for possible national recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools.

Dr. Brenda Cassellius, commissioner of education, called ACGC Superintendent Sherri Broderius with the news just over a week ago. It came shortly after the district had also learned that the Humphrey Institute was recognizing its achievements with its Innovation Award.

Broderius called the most recent Blue Ribbon nomination an honor to all of the students, parents, staff and residents in the district.

“To me it’s an affirmation of all the innovative work we are doing here,’’ Broderius said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, part of the U.S. Department of Education, is described on the program’s web page as a program that honors public and non-public schools where students perform at a very high level or where students are making significant gains in academic achievement.

Schools are nominated by the top education official in each state.

ACGC will now be telling its story to staff with the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Broderius said the district expects to learn in October whether it will be formally recognized as a Blue Ribbon school.

The school had gained attention last fall when its Multiple Measurement Ranking scores soared. The district’s students had collected only 5.4 percent of the possible points in assessments conducted in 2011. Last year, the students had earned 94.97 percent of all possible points.

The superintendent said the district has undertaken a variety of innovative efforts to make the improvements possible.