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The Madison Record

Rainbow achieves status of Blue Ribbon School

MADISON – The Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence or BRSE organization has awarded Rainbow Elementary School with a national honor, the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Lighthouse Award.

Most educators consider this award as the country’s most prestigious honor for a K-12 school. BRSE, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, has been serving schools across the nation since 2001.

In early December, Miranda Bolden, who then was Assistant Principal at Rainbow, and clerical aid Erica Ogle traveled to Orlando to accept the national Lighthouse Award on behalf of the school.

Rainbow Principal Karl Fernandez said having the status as a Blue Ribbon School “indicates to the community at large that Rainbow is composed of immensely dedicated faculty and staff who strive to improve our practices. In a coordinated effort, we provide a high quality learning experience and an effective learning environment for students.”

To achieve the honor, Rainbow provided evidence of excellence and continual improvement in nine program categories: Student Focus and Support; School Organization and Culture; Challenging Standards and Curriculum; Active Teaching and Learning; Technology Integration; Professional Community; Leadership and Education Vitality; School, Family and Community Partnerships; and Indicators of Success.

“This honor is a reflection of the relentless hard work and dedication of the teachers and staff in the building,” Fernandez said. “It is evidence of the heart and devotion Rainbow pours into all of our students and families each day.”

School awards and honors, such as earning the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Lighthouse status, can often indicate to the outside community of the great work being accomplished on the inside, Fernandez said. “But awards also serve as symbolic reminders to us staff of our own strength and grit.”

The BRSE organization provides each school with personalized instruction on the steps to complete a comprehensive self-assessment with the “Blueprint for Excellence self-assessment instrument.” If pandemic restrictions allow, a BRSE team will visit the site to validate the school’s self-assessment.

Eventually, BRSE personnel review the results to develop an individualized action plan to meet the specific needs of the school, like Rainbow.

For more information, visit blueribbonschools.com.

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