Wayside named a National Blue Ribbon School

Wayside Elementary School in Bartlesville has been named as one of 367 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020 by the U.S. Department of Education. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Wayside Elementary School was recognized as an Exemplary High-Performing School. Wayside and Norman’s McKinley were the only elementary schools in Oklahoma to earn that recognition this year, based on high performance on state assessments or nationally normed tests. 

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy 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.”

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13 to celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees, and the schools will be sent recognition plaques and flags.

For over six decades Wayside Elementary's faculty and staff have continued in their focus of preparing our students for their journey through life. Its goal is to teach concepts and skills that are both timely and relevant, today and tomorrow.

To teach a student well, you must know each individual student. Wayside dedicates fifteen minutes each day for “Building Better Bruins” when teachers visit with individual students about whatever the students wish to discuss. Those conversations build stronger bonds of trust and understanding.

Data analysis is a critical component of Wayside students' academic progress. This, along with spiral teaching of concepts, its pacing calendar, and targeted remediation allow students to achieve at higher levels. This progress monitoring allows Wayside to support its students prior to their end-of-unit tests.

Instrumental to Wayside’s story are its teachers, students, and parents. Dedicated and hard-working teachers empower students to take risks, make mistakes, and learn both from their accomplishments and their errors. The school benefits from involved, caring, and supportive parents who know what their children's school stands and strives for.

Wayside Principal Ken Copeland remarked, “It is truly a privilege and honor to work alongside such dedicated and caring professionals as the Wayside teachers and staff members.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. 

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).