By Michael V. Hannigan/HCNow
Tool Elementary School celebrated earning National Blue Ribbon School status Wednesday afternoon with cake, music, and visits from state politicians.
Last week, Principal Christal Calhoun and three teachers traveled to Washington D.C. to officially receive the award.
Founded in 1982, Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education program that recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels.
All schools were selected as exemplary high performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Each school has an economically disadvantaged population of 25 percent or greater.
Tool Elementary School has an economically disadvantaged population of 80 percent, according to Calhoun.
“We have received the National Blue Ribbon School award because we have proven all schools can achieve high performance,” she said.
In January, when the original announcement was made, Malakoff ISD Superintendent Randy Perry said, “We are so proud of the teachers and students of Tool Elementary. Tool Elementary is under the outstanding leadership of Mrs. Christal Calhoun, the campus principal. Tool Elementary has overcome great obstacles to become one of the top schools in the nation, with 70 percent of the Tool students considered economically disadvantaged. This campus reflects Malakoff ISD’s guiding principle that all students can learn and be successful.”
Reading from a proclamation filed with the Texas Senate, State Sen. Robert Nichols told the crowd Wednesday, “Those honored with the Blue Ribbon distinction serve as models of best practices for schools across the state.”
This is the second time in two years that Malakoff ISD has had a BIue Ribbon School. Malakoff Elementary received the honor in 2015.