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Jefferson Science Magnet School Nationally Recognized

Elementary School is a Blue Ribbon Award Winner

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Norwalk, CT | Added on October 02, 2014 At 04:07 PM

The state of Connecticut has one of the largest achievement gaps in the country, but one Norwalk school has proved there are ways to close it. 

This Tuesday the U.S. Secretary of Education awarded Jefferson Science Magnet School with a blue ribbon for high achievement. It's one of about 200 American schools honored with the 2014 National Blue Ribbon Program Award.

"We have a wonderful opportunity here for everyone to learn from some of the things we've been doing and it also re-invigorates the staff," said Jefferson Science Magnet School principal John Reynolds.  

Currently over 600 students attend Jefferson Science Magnet School and this year it's the only elementary school in Connecticut to be selected. 

"We have the most diverse school in Norwalk, we're the largest school in Norwalk and we have the highest rate of free or reduced lunch kids," said Reynolds. "I think we've embraced the fact that many of those things that are traditionally seen as obstacles or challenges are really opportunities for us and we've capitalized on those characteristics and really focused it back on student learning and academics."  

The Blue Ribbon given to a school representing the top 15 percent in it's state in reading and mathematics and its progress in closing the achievement gap between the school's subgroups and the state's all-students group over the past five years. 

"We've transitioned a lot of our instructional practices around experiential learning and science and really worked on student's making sense of their world and related it back in a purposeful way to science experiences and process skills and trying to teach kids how to be problem solvers and I think that change has really allowed us to achieve at higher levels." 

Every year since 1982 the U. S. Department of Education seeks out  American schools that demonstrate students achieving at high levels and so far has awarded the blue ribbon to more than 7,500 schools across the country.


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