Bailey Elementary School earns a blue ribbon

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Bailey Elementary School has joined select company.

Bailey was named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, an honor recognizing overall academic excellence or progress toward closing achievement gaps among student groups.

Only 342 schools across the country earned the designation this year.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future," U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told the winning schools in a Sept. 27 announcement. "You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us: some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff."

Bailey is the first District 833 school to receive the award in the program's 35-year history. Bailey students overall routinely post some of the highest standardized test scores in South Washington County Schools.

"I am extremely proud of the students, staff and families who make Bailey such an outstanding school," Principal Candy Hofstad said in a release. "It is an honor to be recognized for our efforts to ensure every student is meeting our high academic standards."

Bailey representatives will travel to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony Nov. 6-7.

Students and staff gathered in a Bailey classroom to watch DeVos' announcement last week. Students jumped and cheered when Bailey was pictured.

"We are so proud of our staff and students," Hofstad told them. "Way to go, Bailey Elementary."