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Curtsinger and Smith Elementary Schools Have Shot at Blue Ribbon Designation (January, 2006)

Curtsinger and Smith Elementary Schools have both been nominated by the Texas Education Agency for consideration as a Blue Ribbon School. The two Frisco schools will be honored along with 24 other schools in the state Monday, January 30 at a breakfast reception in Austin. But Principal Matt Kimball of Frisco Independent School District’s Noel Smith Elementary says it will be September before FISD is notified that the two schools are officially Blue Ribbon schools. “The next two steps involve turning in a well-written application and meeting the AYP (Annual Yearly Progress) requirements,” Kimball said.

The Blue Ribbon designation is now an honor that falls under the No Child Left Behind program. States nominate their schools and then turn them in for national consideration. TEA has been invited to turn in 26 schools. The Blue Ribbon program looks at two areas when making the nominations, schools that are in the top ten percent based on state test scores and schools whose population is made up of at least 40 percent disadvantaged students and have shown dramatic improvement. All schools must have been open for five years. Last year Texas nominated 26 schools and 25 schools applied and were selected for the designation by the Secretary of Education’s office. The number of schools nominated differs from state to state. Once the announcement is made in September, the national ceremony follows that fall. Schools receive a plaque and a flag.

Faculty and staff at both schools are very pleased to be nominated. “This is very exciting,” Kimball said. “Our teachers and students work very hard.”

“Curtsinger faculty and staff feel so honored to have received the invitation for Blue Ribbon Nomination. It is with much pride and excitement that our teachers made the final decision to participate and write the application. The prestige of this great opportunity is a direct result of an outstanding instructional staff. Our faculty and staff are to be commended for their hard work and dedication to our students,” said Debbie Carroll-Boyce, principal at Curtsinger.