Only six Georgia public schools made the elite list of 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Two of the schools are in the Cobb County School District: Sope Creek Elementary School and Tritt Elementary School.
Blue Ribbon is a national recognition from the U.S. Department of Education (US ED), which recognizes schools in two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. Both Sope Creek and Tritt were recognized as Exemplary High Performing Schools, which means they are among Georgia’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
“I offer my heartfelt congratulations to these six excellent public schools on this national recognition,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said, “and my gratitude to each educator within them who has worked hard to open up opportunities and create an environment where every student can learn.”
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year from across the country. The nominations come from the top education officials in each state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The 2019 National Blue Ribbon winners will travel to Washington, D.C. for a recognition ceremony in mid-November.
What does a National Blue Ribbon School look like?
On any given day at Sope Creek Elementary, visitors to the school would be able to observe about 1,200 students highly-engaged with an integrated curriculum developed through interdisciplinary connections and an emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instruction.
Sope Creek teachers and staff use the Professional Learning Community (PLC) process to ensure that every student reaches their highest potential. Sope Creek students are some of the highest performing in Georgia partially because of the supporting partnership with parents and the community.
Like Sope Creek, Tritt Elementary School has a solid family and community connection. This is the second time Tritt has earned the National Blue Ribbon School title. The first time was in 2013.
Tritt partners with local businesses for volunteer support, funding for special events, and STEAM partnerships. Each grade level works to build a partnership with a local business to solve a problem that connects to their grade level science standards. This becomes the year-long STEAM focus.
Tritt, which is already a STEM certified school, is working towards STEAM certification. Tritt teachers ensure the learning needs of each of the school’s 900+ students are met by differentiating instruction. The two-time National Blue Ribbon school demonstrated why it is an Exemplary High Performing School with its recent success on the Georgia Milestones assessment where 97% of students scored levels 2-4.
“It is a great honor that we can add two more schools, like Sope Creek Elementary and Tritt Elementary, to the list of Cobb’s National Blue Ribbon Schools. Once again, Cobb Schools stand out as an example of excellence not just in the Atlanta metro or the state of Georgia, but the entire nation,” said Superintendent Chris Ragsdale.
In 2017, Cobb’s Dickerson Middle School and Dodgen Middle School earned the National Blue Ribbon designation. The two elementary schools in 2019 bring Cobb Schools’ total National Blue Ribbon awards to 27. A list of all of Cobb’s National Blue Ribbon awards is available here.