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Three Mississippi Schools Earn National Blue Ribbon Status

By Rhonda Miller | Published 10 Sep 2012 09:03pm | comments
Teacher Tammy Hancock goes over a math review with Megan Goff in her fifth grade class at Saucier Elementary.

Three Mississippi schools have been recognized as national Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports these schools perform at very high levels and show significant improvement in academic achievement.

"...what rhymes with hot?"

In this first-grade class at Saucier Elementary teacher Nissa Hogue has students engaged in a language lesson. She makes an important point that’s helped this become a national Blue Ribbon School.

"What rhymes with hop?... think about it...hop."

The key phrase is, “Think about it.”  Principal Cindy Grimes says that makes a big difference in learning.

"We’ve been making a shift toward creating a more thinking culture. You know, in the past, we've alway, in education, focused on maybe an ABCD answer. But now we’re trying to make a shift with our staff and with our students to higher order thinking skills, more grouping, student interaction, where they’re learning with and through others."

It’s working with these first-graders. Isabel Tirey is off to a strong start on her education

"What do you think about school?" "It’s great."  "What’s great about school?" "Get to do these different kind of things and our teacher makes it real fun for us."

Keeping up the enthusiasm for learning helps make this a Blue Ribbon School. In a fifth grade class, 10-year-old Madison Earlywine says she likes math, because she just enjoys working things out.

"....what is the value of the underlying digit? So you have to write like 6/100 or 6/1000."

Another Blue Ribbon School is Pass Christian Middle, where principal Joe Nelson says the entire community set a goal and worked toward it every day.

"That perception of Mississippi being last, we don’t believe in that at Pass Christian Middle, in Pass Christian School District.  We believe our students are just as capable as any other student in the United States. So we teach every student based on our high expectations."

The third Blue Ribbon School is West Lincoln Attendance Center in Brookhaven.  The U.S. Department of Education will recognize the schools at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November.  Rhonda Miller. MPB News. Biloxi.



Teacher Tammy Hancock goes over a math review with Megan Goff in her fifth grade class at Saucier Elementary.



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