U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized Eastover Elementary School as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award recognizes schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. Schools are honored with a plaque affirming the hard work of students, educators, families and communities. They are also presented with a special flag to grace the school building. This is a highly recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.
“This is an incredible honor for our school,” said Principal Carey Crocker. “The teachers, students, and families have worked hard to earn this distinction.”
Eastover Elementary serves approximately 480 students in grades K-4 and is a suburban public elementary school that practices both Visible Thinking and Sustainability.
Visible Thinking is a framework and philosophy that challenges students to think, work through a productive struggle, reason with evidence, question, and make connections between the real world and the curriculum. As teachers create a culture of thinking in their classrooms they make time for thinking, use language of thinking, and make the classroom environment rich with displays of thinking processes.
Through the Eastover Sustainability initiative students are taught to think about how humans impact the environment, how to preserve and protect natural resources, and how to increase efficiency by reducing waste. Students participate in many “green” practices including harvesting and planting in a student garden, while making connections to math, science and social studies concepts. The Eastover mobile kitchen, obtained through a grant a few years ago, provides opportunities for students to cook in the classroom using ingredients from the garden.
“We are so proud of this accomplishment. This was made possible by the efforts of many people. A former staff member once said it is not work, it is family. It truly is a family atmosphere at Eastover. Everyone works together in collaboration to achieve the highest levels of learning for all students,” said Ms. Crocker. “Our work is far from over, but what we have accomplished together has made a difference. We couldn’t have done this without the support of our families, community and the board of education. Thanks really go to everyone that touches Eastover. We will continue this journey together, with more dedication than ever.”
To select National Blue Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Education invites nominations from the top education official in each state, the District of Columbia, the territories, the Bureau of Indian Education, and the Department of Defense Education Activity.
“This incredible distinction for Eastover Elementary is right in line with our ‘Ten Guiding Principles’, which encourage curriculum depth, student ownership and control of learning, and meaningful work that connects students to the world in which they live,” said Dr. Rob Glass, Bloomfield Hills Schools Superintendent. “I am so very proud of the tremendous work done by Principal Carey Crocker, her team, and the students and families at Eastover. This is a true testament to the strong, caring relationships at Eastover.”