Public City School of Decatur, Oakhurst Elementary was highlighted as one of eight Georgia public schools to be recognized as the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
“Oakhurst strives to foster a love of learning through authentic, challenging, creative experiences in a supportive and engaging environment. Oakhurst students become knowledgeable citizens with strong character, ready to serve their communities,” Oakhurst Elementary Principal Tanisha Frazier wrote in the application.
“One of our main approaches to realizing this mission is embracing and fully implementing the EL Education framework and practices.”
She explained that EL Education practices are interwoven into every detail of the schools and the staff and community believe in the framework, and believe that it has been one of the most important factors influencing the school’s success.
“Our focus is based on three dimensions: (1) mastery of knowledge and skills, (2) character, and (3) high quality work,” Frazier said. “Mastery of knowledge and skills refers to our intentional effort to ensure all students make academic growth. Because equity is at the center of our work, we approach teaching in a differentiated way, ensuring all students get what they need.”
The award reassures the hard work of students, educators, communities and families in creating welcoming and safe schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, in its 39th year, has presented more than 10,000 awards to over 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards, according to the announcement.
The Georgia schools named 2021 recipients of the honor are:
- Bleckley County High School, Bleckley County Schools
- Crabapple Lane Elementary School, Fayette County Schools
- Elite Scholars Academy, Clayton County Schools
- High Shoals Elementary School, Oconee County Schools
- Jefferson Middle School, Jefferson City Schools
- Johns Creek Elementary School, Forsyth County Schools
- Oakhurst Elementary School, City Schools of Decatur
- Riverview Elementary School, Dawson County Schools
The U.S. Department of Education recognized schools in two performance categories:
- Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest-performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.
“Congratulations to Georgia’s 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools!” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “The students, teachers, staff, and families of these schools have worked tirelessly, particularly during the last year and a half, and their efforts are paying off in increased achievement for students. I am so proud of each of them as they receive this well-deserved national recognition.”
The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education.
Private schools are nominated through a separate process by the Council for American Private Education.
A Georgia private school, Fulton Science Academy in Alpharetta, was also recognized this year.