Three DoDEA Schools selected as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Three DoDEA Schools selected as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools

by Will Griffin
DoDEA Public Affairs

ALEXANDRIA, VA — October 1, 2018 — Three Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Schools were recognized today by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos as 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Alconbury Elementary School at RAF Alconbury in Huntingdon, United Kingdom; Patch Elementary School at U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart in Stuttgart, Germany; and E.A. White Elementary School at Fort Benning, GA are among the National Blue Ribbon Schools recognized across the nation. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“I am extremely proud of the hard work and dedication to student achievement shown at these three schools in earning National Blue Ribbon Award recognition,” said Thomas M. Brady, DoDEA Director. "Their efforts exemplify the DoDEA mission of excellence in education for every student, every day, everywhere."

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 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.

All three DoDEA schools qualified in the high performing category.

Alconbury Elementary School (AES) has a proud history of drawing upon its unique community, diversity and talented staff to build a community of learners. Located on Alconbury Royal Air Force Base, in Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom, its professional learning community includes 24 teachers, and 5 support personnel. Nearly two hundred students are currently enrolled in AES, ranging from preschool through fifth grade. A culture of high expectations is integrated into the classroom experiences across the curriculum and is demonstrated in AES’ thematic “Go Green Team” approach towards Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) initiatives, which include the Cambridge environmental services, PTA, and base engineers.

Patch Elementary School faculty and staff strive to create and sustain an innovative school for its stakeholders. Teachers are open and welcoming to new ideas, strategies, and programs that will challenge and excite students. School administrators have found that the students (and faculty) thrive on challenges and openly welcome the experiences. Patch ES was the first school to pilot an elementary band and led the way in establishing a German Immersion program, a Spanish FLES program, full-time kindergarten, and multi-age classes. Parents and the community have been open to, and supportive of, new and innovative learning experiences. They set high expectations for their children as well as for the school and are very involved in the education process. Patch ES has traditionally scored well above the national average on standardized assessments and leads the district in academic performance.

E.A. White Elementary School holds high expectations for both staff and students and continuous school improvement processes are in place to ensure that goals are met. Teachers analyze the results of student assessments to identify student needs and differentiate accordingly, proactively planning varied instructional approaches that are aligned to what students need to know and be able to do. On the most recent Terra Nova assessments, 92 percent of 3rd-5th graders scored in the top two quarters in reading and 94 percent were in the top two quarters in math. The teaching and learning scores from E.A. White’s latest AdvancEd accreditation visit were the highest in DoDEA that year. Leadership at the school monitors school climate and stakeholder satisfaction, as well as instructional effectiveness.

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. This coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging 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. A total of 420 schools may be nominated each year.

Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,800 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-age children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Agencies throughout the United States that serve children of military families.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

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