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Posted: Tuesday, September 24th 2013 at 11:52am

Two local schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools

By Derreck Booth Editor
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WASHINGTON D.C. - Two schools in our area were among eight in Georgia named 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education Tuesday.

Sugar Hill Elementary in Hall County was named an Exemplary Improving School. Daves Creek Elementary in Forsyth County was named an Exemplary High Performing School.

"92 percent of Sugar Hill students qualifying for free and reduced lunch does not impede the incredible learning that is taking place, every day! “Character, Competency, Rigor…For All” is embodied at Sugar Hill Elementary School. Please join me in congratulating principal Beth Skarda, the Sugar Hill team, and most of all our incredible students," Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield said in an e-mail statement.

Sugar Hill Principal Beth Skarda echoed Schofield's sentiment.

"Our school motto here is, 'What We Believe, We Can Achieve,' and we set high expectations. We meet the children where they are and help them grow and move forward. They rise to the occasion."

According to the state, the honors go to high achieving schools and schools making significant progress closing the achievement gap.

"I am excited for the students, teachers and staff that they were recognized on a national level for excellence," State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge said.

Georgia's winning schools will join other national winners at an awards ceremony on Nov. 19 in Washington, D.C.

"We're going to take our teacher of the year and go to that, and we'll get to meet with other Blue Ribbon Schools for around the nation," Skarda said.

Officials define the two categories as follows:

- High Performing Schools: Schools that are ranked among the state's highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or assessments referenced against national norms in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics in at least the most recent year tested.

- Exemplary Improving Schools: Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that have made the most progress in improving student performance on state assessments or assessments referenced against national norms in reading (English language arts) and mathematics in the most recent five years.
Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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