Monday, January 14, 2013
Students at Flowertown Elementary School streamed outside for an unexpected break from classes Friday, lining up for what they thought was a practice fire drill.
What they, and their teachers, didn’t know was that Superintendent Joy Pye, Principal Donna Goodwin and Director of Elementary Schools Glenn Huggins were on the roof, ready to make an announcement they had been keeping secret for more than a week – Flowertown was being nominated for a National Blue Ribbon award.
The national program recognizes “exemplary” high performing or improving schools. States are limited in the number of schools they can nominate, and once nominated, schools must go through an application process to prove their mettle.
The five schools nominated from South Carolina will learn next fall whether they’ve earned the distinction.
It’s been a long dry spell for Dorchester District 2 schools, Pye said. Summerville Elementary and Oakbrook Elementary were named blue ribbon schools the same year, but that was in the mid-1990s.
Pye was particularly delighted that Flowertown, where he was principal when the school first opened, was nominated.
More than 50 percent of the school’s children are on free and reduced lunch. The school has earned an “excellent” rating on its annual report card since 2009 and on this year’s revised scoring system earned a letter grade of “A.”
Goodwin, in her fifth year at the school, attributed the school’s success to the teamwork between students, parents and teachers and to teachers’ positive outlook.
“They believe our kids can do it,” she said.
Even if a student isn’t quite up to par yet, the teachers believe he is capable of improving, she said.