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Cottonwood Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

Posted Date: 09/16/2022

Cottonwood Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School


The U.S. Department of Education has named Cottonwood Elementary School one of 297 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2022.

The Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools Award recognizes schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and have dramatically improved student performance in the areas of reading and mathematics. 

“This recognition confirms what we already know about Cottonwood – it’s a family-oriented school where the staff works hard to help students achieve their potential,” Superintendent Brett White said. “We’re so proud of Mrs. Rooks and the Cottonwood team for earning this honor.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award dates back to 1983. Nearly 10,000 schools have been honored during that time. Three Kansas schools were recognized this year.

“We’re proud to be a Blue Ribbon School,” Principal Shari Rooks said. “The hard work our staff and students put into learning and building relationships makes Cottonwood a special place to be.”

Everything at Cottonwood is focused on its mission: We will work together at Cottonwood Elementary to be responsible, respectful, and resourceful life-long learners. We will do what is right.

Among Cottonwood’s highlights:

  • Explorations program, which provides opportunities for students to learn about topics such as yoga, magic, trick shots and Irish dance, all the while making relationships with staff members, community members and students from other classes.
  • Connections with classes in the nearby Andover Middle School and Andover High School.
  • Staff training in dyslexia and phonics, and support systems to help students who need additional assistance.
  • Use of a student-centered math curriculum, with help of a math interventionist.
  • A focus on relationships, through Explorations; buddy classrooms that connect grade levels; Career Days to learn about future opportunities; and volunteers in classrooms.

Cottonwood will be recognized during a ceremony in November in Washington, D.C.

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