First Presbyterian Day School is proud to announce that the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has awarded FPD’s Elementary School a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School for Exemplary High Performance. This prestigious award places FPD’s Elementary School among the top elementary schools in the United States. According to the selection criteria, schools must be “truly exemplary model schools, not just good schools or strong schools.” In order for a private school to win the award, the students must perform at the top 15% in the nation on math and reading comprehension tests.
FPD’s Elementary School is the only private school in Georgia to receive this award and one of only 50 private schools nationally. It is the third time FPD has received the award. FPD’s Elementary School won in 2003, followed by the Middle School in 2012. The USDOE allows schools to be nominated every five years, but priority is given to schools who have not received the award.
“For our elementary school to win twice and our middle school to win once is a great honor,” remarked FPD Elementary Principal, Wade Putnal. “Our teachers love teaching. To earn this additional confirmation that they are doing an exceptional job and our students are some of the brightest in the nation is an amazing blessing and reaffirms our belief that starting early is incredibly important.”
The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominated First Presbyterian Day School’s Elementary Program earlier in the year. To qualify for the nomination, students must perform in the top 15% on math and reading comprehension tests among other selection criteria.
After receiving the nomination, FPD’s elementary program was evaluated by the USDOE on the following areas.
- The school’s overall curriculum and learning standards, particularly –
- Core curriculum – Mathematics, reading and language arts, science, social studies and history
- Pre-school program
- Other curriculum areas
- Instructional methods and interventions
- The school’s use of assessment results
- How the school engages families and community
- School climate and culture
- Professional development
- How the school shares success with other schools
- School leadership
- Financial and demographic data
“While the Blue Ribbon award is partially based on student test scores, the overall atmosphere, culture, curriculum, and instruction are taken into account when selecting final recipients,” commented Dr. Barry Shealy, FPD’s Assistant Headmaster. “We give God the glory that CAPE and the USDOE have seen fit to promote our 3K through 5th grade program as a model for other schools around the nation.”
First Presbyterian Day School understands that the foundation for a strong education begins in pre-school and elementary school. The lessons learned academically, spiritually, and socially prepare students for the next step in their educational journey. Based on this understanding, FPD’s elementary curriculum is based on a continuum of ages and stages and is inclusive of hands-on, interactive exploration that can be tailored to meet each student’s needs.