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DCES becomes National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Dove Creek Elementary School has officially been designated as a National Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School of Excellence. The school received the news after successfully completing a rigorous process by national organization Blue Ribbon Schools for Excellence.


“Congratulations to Dove Creek Elementary School, who in just their third year in existence, has been designated as one of the top schools in the nation,” said Superintendent Jason L. Branch. “As a Blue Ribbon School, Dove Creek excels in a variety of areas including school-family partnerships, student achievement, school climate, and incredibly engaging classroom environments. Achieving this prestigious honor is a reflection of the sustained excellence demonstrated each and every day at DCES.”


The school made a perfect score of 100/100 in all nine categories in the Blueprint for Excellence assessment process. These categories are:

  • Student Focus and Support
  • School Organization and Culture
  • Challenging Standards and Curriculum
  • Active Teaching and Learning
  • Technology Integration
  • Professional Community
  • Leadership and Educational Vitality
  • School, Community, and Family Partnerships
  • Indicators of Success 

“DCES is one of the best schools in the nation and should be a model for other schools across the country,” said Jayne Ellspermann, Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence board member.


The process to become a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School includes a written application, parent and staff surveys, and an on-site validation and review. Only around 250 schools nationwide have been recognized with this achievement since 2012, with five being in Oconee County – Dove Creek Elementary School, High Shoals Elementary (2nd time awardee), Malcom Bridge Elementary (2nd time awardee), Rocky Branch Elementary, and North Oconee High.   


“I am so excited that Dove Creek Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School of Excellence!” said Principal Susan Stancil. “From the moment we opened our doors, building a positive culture and community have been on the forefront of every decision made. We are thrilled to share this accomplishment with our students, parents, staff and community partners. We love our Dragon Family!” 


Designation as a Blue Ribbon Lighthouse School lasts for five years, at which time the school will be eligible for revalidation. Blue Ribbon Lighthouse Schools commit to sharing expertise and exemplary practices with other schools on a local, regional, and national level as well as providing mentoring and networking to schools seeking guidance and assistance in school improvement initiatives. 


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