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Dayton Elementary’s Blue Ribbon

School recognized for academic achievement

DAYTON — The Dayton Elementary School has recently been recognized for its academic achievements with a U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School award.

Part of the Southeast Valley Community School District, Dayton Elementary is one of four Iowa schools given the honor this year.

School Principal Dan Grandfield is very proud of the award and all those who helped earn it.

“It’s a big deal,” he said. “It says a lot about the staff, the students, the community and the school board commitment. It’s a good thing for the community as well.”

He said the school was nominated last school year. The decision to make the award is based on the past four years of testing, Grandfield said they’ve done very well.

“We were exemplary the first year,” he said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools were announced in late September.

Dan Wise, director of the Iowa Department of Education, praised the schools.

“We congratulate Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Schools for their achievements and look forward to learning from them as our state’s education system works to make sure all students are engaged in their learning and preparing for success after high school,” Wise said.

News spread fast within the school.

“We tried to keep it quiet,” Grandfield said. “Once you’re nominated there’s a lot of paperwork to fill out. We did have a big celebration.”

The staff had a long weekend to soak it in. then it was back to doing what got them nominated in the first place, being great at what they do.

“We came back on Monday and got right back to work as usual,” he said.

Grandfield, district Superintendent Brian Johnson and one still to be selected teacher will travel to Washington D.C. Nov. 14 -15 to accept the award at a banquet with U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

The school will also receive a banner and plaque to display.

The other Iowa school recognized this year include Delwood Elementary, Fredricksburg Elementary and Winterset Middle School.

Nationally, 362 schools are being recognized this year. The program, started in 1982, has recognized over 9,000 schools since its inception.