Three elementary schools in Johnson County were named Blue Ribbon Schools this year as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s recognition of school excellence.
Clear Creek Elementary in USD 232, Corinth Elementary in the Shawnee Mission School District and Lakewood Elementary in the Blue Valley School District were recognized as Exemplary High Performing Schools. Exemplary High Performing Schools have their state’s highest high school graduation rates and the highest achieving students — the top 15% — in English and mathematics, measured by state assessments. The three elementary schools are among six schools in Kansas to receive the Blue Ribbon recognition this year.
Located in Shawnee, Clear Creek Elementary serves about 570 students from kindergarten through fifth grade.
Kelley Begley-McCall, principal of Clear Creek Elementary, said she believes that the third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students consistently scoring well on test scores brought the attention of the state for the nomination.
“Their scores are very good — I’ve been in other districts where we’re creating goals based around those state assessment scores, and honestly, we’re at that point where we’re doing so well that we have to look at other ways to make goals to help improve our instruction,” Begley-McCall said.
Begley-McCall said other factors have driven the school to receive the Blue Ribbon award this year, including an involved parent community, a veteran faculty with each teacher having at least 10 years of experience, and a “very strong” culture at Clear Creek that brings the school community together.
“We really believe in maximizing every child’s potential, and we feel that our mission is to prepare all students for their future,” she added. “There’s a dedicated and passionate staff, and they want to provide a safe and secure environment for our students.”
Corinth Elementary serves about 555 students from kindergarten through sixth grade who live in the area of Prairie Village and Leawood.
Chris Lowe, principal of Corinth Elementary, said the school’s designation as a Blue Ribbon School is based off the students’ consistently high state assessment scores over the past several years. However, it’s the team culture of working together that really drove the school to receive the award.
“We’re just very blessed to have such a great, supportive, amazing community, and our staff,” Lowe said. “We’re very proud of the kids and the teachers and the community for this award, just proud to represent Shawnee Mission in a positive way.”
Lowe said Corinth Elementary has earned the blue ribbon just one other time — in 2001.
“It’s just a reflection of our kids, our teachers, our community, our parent involvement,” Lowe said. “It’s something to be very proud of.”