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What does it mean to be a ‘Blue Ribbon’ community?

• Apr 12, 2019 at 4:00 PM

We’re so proud to announce that Peach Plains Elementary School has been nominated for the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award. It’s the fourth Grand Haven Area Public Schools building since 2016 to receive a nomination via the Michigan Department of Education, and the process is validating, rewarding and affirming.

It also offers our team the opportunity to reflect on the practices that led to such a prestigious nomination, and what that means for our community.

Our teachers and administrators work diligently across our buildings to ensure consistent practice and outcome for all students. With more than 900 school buildings across Michigan and less than 15 nominations annually, the regular and repeated nominations for Grand Haven indicates repeated and sustainable success.

We always strive for intentional, continuous improvement, and nominations and awards from the MDE and the USDOE are strong indicators that improvement is resulting in success. That foundation of success is something we can use to build up all of our schools, and our community.

But these awards and successes aren’t just reflective of the school — they are truly a mirror of the community.

One of the biggest factors for our success is the demonstrated commitment the Grand Haven community has made to our schools. We see this every day through support from volunteers and donations of supplies, food and funds. Additional passed millages also provide invaluable supplemental funds that ensure we can strive to be “Blue Ribbon.”

Our students and staff are fortunate to live and learn in a place where there is such a commitment to our future — our youth.

We are anxiously awaiting the announcement of awards this fall, but I don’t need an award to know we already live in a “Blue Ribbon” community. I am honored and grateful for all of your support. Everyone can and should share in celebrating the success of our schools and this wonderful community.

Take stock, reflect on the achievement, and tell your friends and family — all of Grand Haven is “Blue Ribbon” proud!

About the writer: Andy Ingall is the superintendent for Grand Haven Area Public Schools.

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