Prescott Wins National Blue Ribbon

Kara Shea
Issue Date: 
November, 2019
Article Body: 

Way to go Prescott School!
This month, the C.J. Prescott Elementary School will join an elite educational community with a national honor in tribute to the schools revolutionary and unique teaching curriculums and programs. Once the ribbon is awarded this month, the Prescott will become one of the 9,000 other schools to garner The National Blue Ribbon School flag that will grace their entryway or fly overhead. This flag is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.
In January 2019, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) invited a number of schools to submit an application for the Blue Ribbon Status. The Prescott team was nominated, and formed a committee to gather historical information, examine student and teacher data, and compile a compelling story about the Prescott.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups; and Norwood’s own C.J. Prescott Elementary School is one of the 2019 recipients.
The application not only discussed what successes the school has had in the past, but also the forward thinking ideas and initiatives that the school is currently implementing. These initiatives include a great English Language Arts pilot program, and a strong phonics program being rolled out within the next year.
“The excellent test scores, the commitment to serving all students and providing all students with an excellent education are just a few areas that have proven our school to be worthy of this recognition,” Prescott School Principal Bryan Riley said.
Some of the exciting things that make the school exceptional include a commitment to technology, improving teaching through peer observations and instructional rounds, and an amazingly diverse student population. 
The Prescott School currently serves 260 students in Norwood.   
“As I shared in my announcement to our community, there isn’t one thing that makes a school community excellent,” Riley said. “It is not just the great teachers or the committed families. Nor is it the supportive district administration, but it is a perfect combination of all these elements coming together.”
Riley, reading specialist and head teacher Carol Thornton, and Norwood Public Schools Superintendent David Thomson will travel to Washington, DC in November to accept the award and represent the Prescott and Norwood Community. 
According to the National Blue Ribbon website, ‘this award is in recognition of schools where “their leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards, they stay close to the real action of teaching and learning. Mutual respect and trust run deep in their cultures. Faculty are supported by mentoring and professional development and have time to coordinate their work. Data from many sources drive adaptations to support every student. Families and educators work together in trust.”
“At the end of the day, what we do is for the kids,” Riley said. “They are truly amazing to work with. I, as well as the teachers and staff in the building, don’t come to school every day to win this recognition, but we come because we love what we do. We build lasting relationships with our kids and their families and all work together to do what’s best for our kids.”
It is certainly an exciting time to be at the Prescott!