By Scott Bleile

Seaford School District’s Frederick Douglass Elementary School has been named a 2020 Blue-Ribbon School. In a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized 367 schools as National Blue-Ribbon Schools for 2020, which includes Frederick Douglass Elementary School of the Seaford School District.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. “Congratulations to this year’s National Blue-Ribbon School awardees,” said Secretary DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL- Seaford’s Frederick Douglass Elementary School has been named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Pictured (from left) are some of the students and staff celebrating the award: teachers Sabrina Knight and Jacky Allman; fifth grade students D’Quavion Dashiell, Kaylee Wise, Paige Blaine, Evans Janvier, Braiden Calloway, Jorozhane Dixon, Anthony Gomez-Lopez; and principal Carol Leveillee. Photo by Scott Bleile

Frederick Douglass Principal Carol Leveillee is immensely proud of the accomplishments by the staff and students. “This award is so deserving, this school staff and our students (former and present) have worked so hard,” said Leveillee. “In 2015 we were a focus plus school and in the bottom five percent for the entire state; in 2020 we’re a National Blue-Ribbon School. Our Seaford community deserves this too.”

The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates: Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

“We are being recognized as a high performing school so test score improvement over time is the big indicator,” added Leveillee. “We first had to make our school a place where kids want to be every day. A place where staff can work together, learn together, support one another, take risks together and believe! Once that culture was in place and staff knew all kids could do this, the learning was possible. I could not be prouder of my school. I am so proud of the students, the staff, and our Seaford community. Hard work pays off and this is the perfect way to reward us with this prestigious award.”

The 2020 National Blue-Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13.