Ross Elementary School in northwest D.C. is one of five schools in the District recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. (DCPS photo)
Ross Elementary School in northwest D.C. is one of five schools in the District recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. (DCPS photo)

Five schools in the District have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The honored schools — cited for overall academic performance — include Alice Deal Middle School, Blessed Sacrament Elementary School, John W. Ross Elementary School, KIPP DC Heights Academy and Saint Peter School, Capitol Hill.

“To be honored as a National Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the dedication and commitment among the educators and students at these extraordinary D.C. schools,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said. “We thank all of our teachers, students, and parents for continuing to make each day count and putting our young people on a pathway to long-term success.”

The five schools, among 362 recognized this year, vary across each education sector — public, charter, private or parochial.

“When we got the award, I met with all the kids and said, ‘this is your award. You won because of all your hard work,’” said Holly Searl, principal of Ross Elementary School in Northwest.

DOE will celebrate honorees on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15 at an awards ceremony in D.C.

Study Aboard Programs

The DCPS Study Abroad application period is now open to all DCPS eighth grade, 11th grade, Certificate 3, and Opportunity Academies students who are studying a world language.

DCPS Study Abroad programs are between 8-12 days long and focus on language learning, community service and/or global leadership. Students who are selected for DCPS Study Abroad are assigned a trip based on their world language course history and interests. All eligible students are encouraged to consider applying for DCPS Study Abroad.

The travel window for School Year 2019-20 is expected to be June 25, 2020 through July 10, 2020.

Applications will be accepted through Nov. 6. For more about the application process, go to dcpsglobaled.org.

No Classes

There is no school for students on Nov. 4-5, which marks the end of the first term of the 2019-2020 school year.

Employee Active Clearance

Because DCPS is committed to providing all students access to rigorous and engaging learning experiences that will prepare them for college and careers, this fall the school system implemented new systems, curriculum and policies to ensure that every adult in our school buildings is doing their part to keep our students safe.

At the end of last school year, Chancellor Lewis Ferebee requested a full review of the clearance status of all DCPS employees and partners, and after discovering that DCPS staff and partners were not consistently in compliance with DCPS’s requirement to renew their clearance every two years, school officials moved quickly to dedicate additional financial and personnel resources to remedy this concern.

DCPS also committed to ensuring that all school staff would have an active clearance by the end of September, and all staff in central office would have an active clearance by the end of October.

As of Oct. 1, 98 percent of DCPS school-based employees have an active clearance.

Special Spotlight

DCPS gave a recent shout-out to cafeteria worker Kevin Dyer of Payne Elementary, who has been serving at the school for eight years and in DCPS for a total of 12 years.

“Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to support our scholars. A true cafeteria hero!” the schools system tweeted Monday.

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