Forest School Named Blue Ribbon School
Forest School Named 2018 Blue Ribbon School
Posted on 10/01/2018

Forest SchoolOn Monday, October 1, 2018, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos named Forest School one of the U.S. Department of Education’s 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Forest is being honored for its work with all students, including special needs students and students who are not native English speakers. Forest has shown great improvement in test scores for all students.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools is an annual award bestowed on schools across the nation for high academic performance or greatest progress in achievement gap closure among subgroups, the governor’s office said in a news release.

“Every student from every background and every walk of life deserves a quality education that allows them to succeed,” Malloy said. “With exemplary schools like this year’s Blue Ribbon award winners, it’s no wonder that we have record-high graduation rates and students who are among the best in the nation.

“We congratulate these schools and their teachers, students, and families for their collective efforts to nurture positive school communities — they are all helping to shift the growing possibilities for our next generation in a positive direction,” Malloy said.

“We are excited to celebrate four Connecticut schools that are transforming the futures of students by delivering a top-quality education in the classroom,” Education Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell said in the release. “Congratulations to our Blue Ribbon Schools on the collective effort and hard work by students, parents, educators and community partners to earn this prestigious honor.”

To select and nominate schools for the National Blue Ribbon School award, the Connecticut State Department of Education uses data from the Next Generation Accountability System, the release said.

Nominated schools complete an application process and must be approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the release said.

All selected schools in Connecticut demonstrated outstanding overall achievement in 2016-17 and were identified as “Schools of Distinction,” the release said.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are identified in two categories — “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing” and “Exemplary High Performing.”

Forest School teaches students in pre-Kindergarten through fourth grade. As a school in an Alliance District, the majority of students — 76 percent — are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Additionally, 23 percent of students at Forest School are “English learners” with over 16 different languages spoken at home, the release said.

“Forest prides itself on its model of layered shared leadership designed to support teachers to ensure learning for their diverse student body,” the release said. “ The instructional team at Forest includes a mathematics coach and reading consultant as well as a special education team and an English learner team.

“Collectively, and with strong district support and coordination, these educators work closely with classroom teachers, providing model lessons, research-based instructional strategies, and other key resources to realize their foundational principle that “all students can succeed,” the release said.

“Forest is a school demonstrating success in terms of strong academic growth in mathematics and ELA for high needs students, leading to its nomination as an Exemplary Gap Closing school,” it said.