The 50 Best American Public Elementary Schools

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Elementary school marks a life-changing experience for children. Regardless of their preschool experience, on the first day of kindergarten, each child walks into a new world — a world that excites growing minds, a world that can intimidate, and a world that fundamentally forms a child’s impression of learning and education.

We believe the schools in this ranking exemplify the very best in elementary education. The aim of this ranking is to showcase just how good US education at the elementary-level can be. This is an American success story!

Some schools on this list may seem to have unfair advantages (better resources, more money, etc.). The common denominator, however, is that all schools listed here, working with what they have, create environments that are highly effective at stimulating learning and fostering personal growth.

We paid attention to aspects of the schools that we believe help create such effective environments. The schools on this list are not solely concerned with academics. In addition, these schools pay attention to variety, innovation, fun, and strong parental and community involvement.

This is a ranking article, sure, but we hope the take-away lesson is not whether a school was #20 or #41, #1 or #50. Every high-performing school on this list deserves your attention! These schools show what highly-motivated faculty, staff, parents, and students can achieve by raising expectations, rewarding hard work, and building character.

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Only schools that included grades three through five were considered for this list. Moreover, we focused on the scores and achievements of only the third, fourth, and fifth grades. When looking at state assessment scores, all state-administered tests were considered in a school’s overall average for grades three through five.

Many schools on this list earned Blue Ribbon awards from the Department of Education. Schools have to apply and qualify in order to be chosen for this award. Schools cannot reapply for five years, so obtaining this award is a significant achievement no matter the year in which it was received. America has approximately 70,000 public elementary schools, and thousands of these schools apply annually for the award. But each year only about 300 receive the coveted Blue Ribbon.

This list of schools includes a few not located in America’s 50 states (Alabama through Wyoming). All out-of-country schools on this list are run by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA). They are located on military bases and operated by certified teachers. The schools have AdvanceEd accreditation and are recognized by the US Senate as American schools.

Life for military children can be challenging because they must frequently move from base to base. Correspondingly, teachers and administrators at these schools face the challenge of an ever-changing student body. Yet such challenges also present unique opportunities, such as linguistic and cultural enrichment through a Host Nation Program. This is why a DoDEA school is ranked number one on this list.

Readers also like: The 50 Best Middle Schools in the U.S., and The 50 Best Public High Schools in the U.S.

The Best American Elementary Schools

1. Aukamm Elementary School

Wiesbaden, Germany

Some of the most overlooked people in the military are the children who travel with their military parents from base to base, even if it is in a foreign country. The Department of Defense understands the special challenges that children in these circumstances face and provides education on the base when local schools are not available.

Currently, there are 250 elementary students in grades K through five attending Aukamm Elementary on the Wiesbaden Air Base. The base was originally an air base for the German Luftwaffe during World War II.

One of the classrooms at AES is a four and five multi-grade class. The other ten classes comprise kindergarten through fifth grade single grade classes. Students participate in P.E., music, art, Spanish, media center instruction, and technology instruction.

Students also participate in a Host Nation program, which provides cultural instruction and language acquisition opportunities so that students can truly develop an appreciation for their host country. Host Nation classes and activities are taught by host nation teachers. It is a unique feature of the Department of Defense Dependent Schools elementary program.

The 102nd Signal Brigade volunteers as mentors and computer club support. They also volunteer at many activities held at or by the school. Students can participate in student council, sewing and crafting, art club, gardening club, drama club, cooking club, and music club.

While the school is part of the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA), the school is supported by the Kaiserslautern School District.

2. Mason-Rice Elementary

Newton Centre, Massachusetts

In the 90’s, Massachusetts set out to reform public education to bring about a student population that was better educated and performed better on achievement tests. Nowhere is this appreciated more than at Mason-Rice Elementary (MRE) where the third, fourth, and fifth graders outperformed all of the peers in their state.

In addition to managing almost perfect scores in math and reading in all grades, a large percentage of those passing also scored high enough to be considered advanced. Furthermore, MRE met all goals for the year, achieving adequate yearly progress.

Serving students between Kindergarten through fifth grade, students enjoy art, music, P.E., and instruction in instrumental music. Students have the opportunity to feature the books they are reading, record what they have learned from a book, and record discussions they have had about books they have read. Students can also sign up for a lunch on Fridays in which a book will be discussed.

Group instrument lessons are offered to fourth graders who present one formal concert at the end of the year. Teachers schedule other informal performances as the students progress.

3. Little Harbor Elementary School

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Approximately 400 students in grades K through five attend Little Harbor Elementary School. 23 teachers provide instruction that includes both reading and writing workshops, word study, and regular academic classes based upon Common Core objectives, and the Follow the Child framework.

Students demonstrate their work through portfolios, projects, competitions, and artwork displays. Students attend field trips including one to the Living History Museum. Students and parents enjoy extra activities throughout the year, such as a spaghetti supper, Fall Festival, Halloween Parade, a Book Fair, and a Barn Dance for students.

Elementary students receive tutoring from high school students through a program called Amigos. Students have a student council, chess club, and a school store. Fifth graders get to attend an Environmental Camp and all grades have intramural sports.

Students in New Hampshire are tested in reading and math in 3rd through 5th grades. They are tested in writing in fifth grade, and science in fourth grade. All of Little Harbor’s grades taken together give them the second highest average of all schools in the state.

4. Bay Head Elementary

Bay Head, New Jersey

Designated by the state as a Reward School based upon superior academic excellence, Bay Head Elementary serves students in grades K through 8. Students have the opportunity to play on several sports teams in basketball, softball, soccer, and tennis. Additionally, students can participate in a garden club, aviation club, safety patrol, magic club, student council, art club, Kid Fit Club, chess club, and homework club.

Students receive peer tutoring in a program called Positive Partners where older students are paired with younger students. Partners participate in activities together throughout the year. All students take classes in Spanish, P.E., music, and art.

All classes go on two or more field trips per year. Students of elementary age have access to lap top computers for individual work, and teachers have Smart Boards and Smart Responders for learning through group engagement.

Out of district students are accepted, but students must apply and pay tuition. An aftercare program is provided on regular school days. Students can receive academic help at that time or just relax with friends or play games. There is a charge for the after school program, but parents only have to pay for days their children stay after school and utilize the program.

5. Frost Elementary

Frostburg, Maryland

The EPE Research Center, who rates state educational systems based upon how well the state does across all its districts, gave to Maryland alone a B+; all other states were given a lesser grade. Frost Elementary had the fourth highest test average combining all state assessment scores in math, reading, and science, for grades three through five. Frost serves students in grades K through 5.

Students at Frost Elementary enjoy more than just academic classes and the accolades of those who rate schools. The Parent Teacher Organization partners with Frost to provide students with enrichment activities including pumpkin decorating and a trunk or treat event complete with a D.J. For Veterans Day, local veterans came to the school, read a book to classes and shared some of their experiences with the students. The choir, comprised of 3rd through 5th grade students, performed a concert in their honor.

Looking to the community, students at Frost celebrated the Kids-Helping-Kids campaign during the week of October 27 through October 31 to raise awareness about others in need and to collect canned goods to benefit the Frostburg Food Pantry.

6. Marion Cross School

Norwich, Vermont

Frequently schools get caught up in the need for high scores on math and reading and give less attention to other subjects which may be tested, but that are not used to determine a school’s adequate yearly progress. This is not true at Marion Cross School where fourth and fifth graders did very well on the science and writing tests, respectively, narrowly outperforming other top schools in the state.

Students study the normal academic courses, but also take lessons in French, health, environmental education, technology, P.E., music, art, and library. Students have several innovative art projects to complete throughout the year. Many of these projects are featured on a special art website, displaying a wide array of creativity and talent. From insect drawings from first graders to group projects in fifth grade where each group is assigned a national park to depict in their drawings, art is integrated into other subjects in the curriculum, especially science.

Through the LEEEP (Learning about the Environment through Experiential Education Projects) Program, students complete outdoor projects to teach them about, and give them an appreciation for, the natural world through environmental inquiry.

7. Merion Elementary School

Merion, Pennsylvania

Merion Elementary School has a history of excellence. The school has over 500 students in grades K through five in a campus that spans over eight acres with specialized learning support classrooms, an auditorium, gym, cafeteria, playground, playing fields, and a library/media center.

There are 23 classroom teachers and additional teachers for special education, P.E., art, library, music, and the gifted and talented program. The school also employs two literacy specialists and all students second grade and over take Spanish lessons every week with one to two language teachers.

Students at Merion are accustomed to using technology in the classroom and are given multiple opportunities every week to use wireless technology and/or the computer lab. Additionally, students in fourth and fifth grade may participate in band, orchestra, and/or choir. There are also after school athletics for interested students.

Although the school first opened its doors in 1925, the school has undergone several changes. Major renovations took place in 2003 so that the school was updated and modernized.

In the summers there are camps for young writers and readers. During the school year, the school district provides a subscription to DreamBox, which allows students to develop skills in STEM subjects both at school and at home. Parents are encouraged to have their children use the program at home and parents are given tips and ideas on how to work with their children in math to make it engaging and fun.

Students at Merion have helped raise over four thousand pounds of food for Philabundance, a charity providing food to the needy.

8. Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary

Quenemo, Kansas

The Marais des Cygnes Valley School District has an elementary school and a middle/high school. The elementary school serves students in grades K through 5. Some teachers work in both schools such as the music teacher who recently acquired five acoustic guitars for use in music classes, giving students exposure to new and different types of music in both the upper and lower schools.

Fourth grade science students received a perfect score on the Kansas State Assessment of Science. Third and Fourth graders received perfect scores on the Kansas State Assessment of Math. Third and Fourth grade students received a perfect score on the Kansas State Assessment of Reading. All other scores were in the high 90s.

It is of little surprise, then, that Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary received National Recognition from the US Department of Education as a 2014 Blue Ribbon School as well as an additional award as an exemplary school for closing the gap in achievement.

Every week, each grade elects a student of the week. Parents of students given this honor are then invited to come to the school and have lunch their children to celebrate this honor.

9. Hawk Ridge Elementary

Charlotte, North Carolina

Because of their almost-perfect achievement on state-administered standardized tests, Hawk Ridge has been named an Honor School of Excellence from the state of North Carolina.

Students are given the opportunity to participate in activities such as the Movie Making Club, the Fishing Club, Reader’s Theater, the Instrumentation Club, the Math Olympiad, Sports Broadcasting, as well as many other activities that are parent-sponsored.

Nearly fifty percent of the teachers have master’s degrees and almost fifty percent are National Board-certified. Weekly newsletters from the principal also include parent tips. Parents are a vital part of Hawk Ridge. In the 2013–14 school year, they raised over $30,000 to buy smart boards for the classrooms. Their efforts not only make extracurricular activities possible, but they also volunteer for many other activities such as Night of the Arts, the Science Fair, and the annual Multicultural Celebration.

Hawk Ridge is not satisfied with an ordinary curriculum. To enhance learning, the curriculum is being buoyed by the Seven Habits of Happy Kids. These are listed on the technology tools website along with several links to helpful websites and projects created by students. Also, for each grade there is a list of links that are tailored to the students of that grade to help them in a variety of skills and subjects.

10. Crawford Elementary School

Fairbanks, Alaska

Located on Eielson Air Force Base, the majority of students are military dependents, but students from Moose Creek also attend. There are approximately 300 students in grades three through 6. The school opened in 1997 and was named after Robert McArthur Crawford who penned the Air Force song, best known by the first line: Off we go into the wild blue yonder.

The Crawford library has an online search engine by keyword, title, author, subject, or series. The library also provides online links for homework help and links to the Accelerated Reader Program and the ThinkCentral website where students can access coursework in social studies, world languages, reading and language arts, math, science, and health.

Students have lessons in music and one teacher is dedicated to an extended learning program. There is a special education program and intervention specialists for academics and behavior.

11. Homestead Elementary School

Centennial, Colorado

Serving grades K through 5, Homestead Elementary was honored in 2014 by both the federal government with a Blue Ribbon Award as an Exemplary High Performing School and by the state of Colorado as a school of excellence. The school operates on a trimester basis. Students at the school who are gifted or academically advanced and qualify may apply to a magnet school in the district which is an International Baccalaureate school for grades K through 8.

In addition to academic classes students have classes in technology, art, music, and P.E. Homestead students also have access to a state of the art library which students can explore through an interactive library website. Students can participate in student council which meets in the library on Monday mornings from 8:00 to 8:40.

Interested members of the community may participate in decision-making and budgetary concerns through the School Action Committee, which meets in a public forum quarterly. The SAC is required by law and has members of the community, school staff, PTCO, and the principal as members.

12. International School at Dundee

Greenwich, Connecticut

An International Baccalaureate School, the International School at Dundee uses an application process to admit its approximately 345 students from grades K through 5, but applying students are chosen by lottery.

Students are tested by the state in grades three through five in reading, math and writing. Fifth grade students are tested in science as well. When all of Dundee’s test scores are averaged together, Dundee has the highest average of all ten scores in the state.

The goal of IB schools is to turn students into reflective thinkers and communicators who develop into principled and caring life-long learners. The curriculum from the school district is still maintained but enriched through the IB program.

Students learn to research so that they master the skills necessary to be a successful student and learner. Part of this research takes place in a media center where students can make use of technology and check out books. Through the technology of the media center, students explore different countries every month. Additionally, students are given typing goals every year so that they progressively become better typists with fewer mistakes.

Once a month, students attend a musical performance after lunch, after which they have a group discussion with the performers. Performers come from around the globe and perform a variety of musical types as soloists and groups.

13. Cherokee Elementary School

Paradise Valley, Arizona

Cherokee Elementary School has the second highest accountability score of all traditional public schools in Arizona. In 2013, it was bestowed with the A+ School of Excellence Award by the Arizona Education Foundation. It has consistently earned A rankings from the State of Arizona Department of Education.

CES offers a gifted program, English Immersion Studies, art, special education, health classes, computer labs, music, P.E., and numerous clubs and after school programs. Clubs include student council, math, and running, among others. After school programs include gymnastics, tennis, yoga, Krea8tive Kids, Young Rembrandts, and several other interesting activities. In fourth grade, students may start participating in choir, band, or the strings program.

The Scottsdale Unified School District provides enrichment activities to make learning fun so that children will want to learn. Different classes are offered throughout the year, which allows students to pursue interests outside of the school. There is also a Parent University where parents are provided with skills to help their children better succeed in academic achievement.

The student council helps in school-wide recycling and assists in productions and fund raisers held throughout the district.

14. Marine Elementary

Marine on Saint Croix, Minnesota

Students at Marine Elementary participate in a program called STEAM, which combines engineering, math, technology, science, and art to create projects and problem-solve through the Lego Robotics program and Engineering is Elementary program. Additionally, the school has a wooded area covering one and a half acres that allows students to engage in learning activities in the environment.

Special events allow students to experience life outside their world with gUS speakers at a general assembly like representatives of the Science Museum and the Minnesota Raptor Center.

Students at Marine Elementary outperformed students from the state with third and fifth graders scoring a perfect 100 on the state math assessment. Non-resident students are accepted and an after school program operates year round. Students in grades K-4 go to Adventure Club and students in grades five and six go to Spin where they work on projects, receive homework help, play games, and participate in outdoor activities.

Students can start band or orchestra beginning in the fifth grade. Choir and general music are provided for all students.

15. Haycock Elementary

Falls Church, Virginia

The Responsive Classroom approach is used at Haycock, which promotes academic, social, and emotional skills. As part of this practice, students help create classroom rules that will result in a productive learning environment. Students are also allowed to choose their assignments from a teacher-created list. Materials are presented to students in such a way as to promote individualism, responsibility, and creativity, while also teaching students to work together cooperatively with collaborative problem-solving.

The school conducts academic and extracurricular competitions in math, science, band, art, choir, strings, drama, and social studies. The curriculum is augmented by field trips, mentor programs, visits by published authors, an outdoor learning program, a computer lab, and a science lab.

Students participate in a STEM Night, a PTA- sponsored Cultural Arts Program, a Geography Bee, Math Olympiad, and a Science Olympiad. Additionally students have a student news show and a student yearbook. Students at all age levels participate in community service projects.

Haycock Elementary was recognized by the Department of Education in 2014 as an exemplary high performing school. Haycock had the second highest average of all scores on state-administered assessments in schools that contained grades three through five.

16. Stony Lane Elementary School

North Kingstown, Rhode Island

Serving grades K through 5, Stony Lane Elementary is a 2012 Blue Ribbon Award Winning School with an higher average score on all state tests administered to grades three through five than any other public school in Rhode Island.

The school’s newsletter was recently modified in an innovative way: fifth graders gave a tour of the school and review of what had been happening in the fall. Karate, yoga, and scrapbooking were three before-school activities that were featured in the video newsletter along with a quick tour through some lessons and activities taking place in the school. This was a great opportunity for students to experience journalism and broadcasting on a small scale, and helps to make students shareholders in the success and promotion of their school.

Wireless internet was recently added to the school. In addition to five desktop computers in every classroom, a portable cart of Ipads and another of laptops is available for classroom use. Students have access to cameras as well.

A large nature trail traverses the rear property line and gardens hug one side of the building where students can experience horticulture first hand.

An academic tutor specializing in literacy works with students in grades one through five. An incentive-based reading program encourages students to read. The school sponsors a scholarship for seniors who attended Stony Lane at least two years and who have been accepted to a college.

There are currently 410 students enrolled at Stony Lane, in 18 classes. New classrooms, a gym, art room, and music room were added to the school in 1996.

17. Manvel Elementary School

Manvel, North Dakota

Manvel Elementary serves grades K through eight and was one of the top five performing schools in the state on the state-administered assessment tests covering reading, math, and language arts for grades three through five, and a science test for fourth graders.

It is Manvel’s philosophy that all children should succeed in school and extra care is given to students in third and fourth grade science through an enrichment program with extra activities in science and math. Manvel is a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school.

Boys can participate on a basketball team upon entering the fifth grade. In addition to regular academic classes, students have classes in music, beginner’s band, advanced band, choir, technology education, and physical education. In November the third and fourth grades performed the musical Snow Way Out.

In 2014, Manvel was named a Blue Ribbon School for being an exemplary high-performing school. Members of the Senate, N.D. Department of Education and the Blue Ribbon School Manager for North Dakota visited the school to help commemorate this honor.

18. Longfellow Elementary School

Bozeman, Montana

In the 2012–13 school year, Longfellow had the second highest overall scores in math and reading for grades three through five, and in 2014 was named a Blue Ribbon School as an exemplary high performing school.

Longfellow students have a tradition of caring and community service exemplified in things like collecting non-perishable food for the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, and attending the Women’s Auxiliary dinner, raffle, and auction for veterans, through which proceeds go to provide Christmas gifts and food for military families in need.

In addition to academic classes, students have classes in music, technology, and art. A Wetlands Festival is held every year for students to explore and learn about the characteristics of wetlands. Parent volunteers and local experts lead students on tours of the wetlands and help students participate in a variety of science experiments and activities.

In the spring, students participate in an Artworks Festival where students can display their artworks from that school year. Dinner, music, dancing, and fun activities take place at the festival where an auction raises funds for the visual and performing arts. The ArtWorks Festival supports drama, dance, poetry, drumming, and many other school activity programs.

19. Spiritridge Elementary School

Bellevue, Washington

The Bellevue School District provides students services to all school levels. In elementary school, there are dual language programs, gifted programs, a Spanish Immersion Program, after-school programs, special education, and English as a second language programs.

The Spiritridge library has an online component so that students can view the card catalog from any computer, access databases and encyclopedias, as well as other great programs. There are also online math and reading programs so that students can practice their skills at home and so parents will have a resource for helping their children. The curriculum is also available on line.

Fathers and other male relatives are encouraged to support their children through a volunteer program called Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) to promote education and safety. Recognizing that most parents work full time, Watch D.O.G.S. asks volunteers to work one day per year. The program is not compulsory, however, so men are not pressured to participate, but invited to act as male role models.

Spiritridge, a K-5 school has had tremendous academic success with its nearly 600 students. Students can display their art on an online art gallery.

20. Lincoln Elementary School

Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

The overall achievement rate at Lincoln Elementary is over 90%, significantly exceeding expectations set by the state of Wisconsin’s accountability program. Serving grades K through 5, Lincoln has a little over 300 students.

All students take general music classes, but there is also a band, choir, and an orchestra which is open to students in grades four and five. Before school, students meet for large group lessons and then during the day they are in smaller groups for more intimate lessons.

In addition to a physical library, students have access to online resources ,and the library posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, using student social media to reach all students and encourage reading. The library website offers suggestions for what to read, a card catalog, online resources, and technology tutorials so that students can get the most out of the website.

The curriculum includes technology and literacy benchmarks so that students start in kindergarten with teacher-demonstrated research skills and end in fifth grade with students conducting independent research using a predetermined list of resources such as almanacs, periodicals, and thesauruses.

Every year the fifth grade takes an environmental field trip and spends the night camping. As part of a cultural arts programs, students have assemblies to attend cultural programs and student performances. Students also perform community service projects.

21. Ragersville Elementary School

Sugarcreek, Ohio

Serving students in K through 6, Ragersville Elementary experiences great success in state accountability testing. Ragersville utilizes a broader grading scale than many schools. An A is from 92% to 100% while a D is 65% to 73%. This provides greater reward for harder working students while increasing the chances of passing for struggling students.

Creative special events occupy Ragersville’s calendar. In December 2014, the author of The Night Santa Lost His Pants presented his book and then began an art supply drive to benefit Harbor of Hope. Students brought art supplies to fill Santa’s pants for the donation drive. The school has a band comprised of fifth and sixth graders who perform with the high school for special concerts.

Physical education classes present varied and innovative programs, sports, and games to keep students engaged and physically active. The P.E. teacher presents new activities every month. Students take classes in art, music, and technology as well.

22. North Star Elementary School

Hockessin, Delaware

North Star students in Kindergarten through fifth grade take regular academic courses, but also courses in P.E., art, and band or music. Every year a new theme is chosen for the school. The school’s theme this year is SMILE: Your smile can change the world. Give one today! SMILE stands for Share of yourself, Make a difference, Inspire others, Learn to give, Expand your horizons.

To encourage literacy, teachers make comfortable and inviting areas for reading, designated areas for writing, small group learning centers, independent learning centers, as well as the large group configuration used most often by schools in past years. Student work is often openly displayed, and students are encouraged to choose their own reading material.

The library catalog is online and students also have access to UDLib/SEARCH, which is an online resource for all Delaware students, provided for by the University of Delaware Library, through the Department of Education.

Odyssey of the Mind is offered internationally and allows students to creatively problem-solve and submit their projects for competitions, not only locally and at the state level, but globally as well. Students also participate in the Lego League, and a talented and gifted program.

23. Adams Elementary School

Lincoln, Nebraska

Adams Elementary is a relatively new K-5 school that opened in 2008, next to Lincoln Parks and Recreation property. Adams credits its success, in part, to abiding by two operating principles: it is never okay to hurt someone, or to disrupt class. Childcare is provided before school and afterwards, as well as clubs and activities.
Clubs include a cooking club, Chess Club, orchestra, art, drama, band, and Girls on the Run.

AES is named after Lt. Col. Paul Adams, a Tuskegee pilot who served the military in World War II. When he retired from the military in 1964, he began teaching at Lincoln High School where he taught industrial arts until 1982. In 2007, he was awarded the Congressional Bronze Medal for his service as a guardian angel in World War II. The Tuskegee fighter pilots escorted bombers to and from their missions. In all their missions, they never lost one bomber to enemy fighter pilots, which is why the bomber pilots gave the Tuskegee pilots the name guardian angels. In the same spirit, students are taught to value and look after each other, as each other’s guardian angels.

AES has several programs throughout the year including a holiday food drive, a ceremony commemorating the Constitution, K Kids Club (a service organization sponsored by the Kiwanas), choir participation in the Sing Around Nebraska Program, and an assembly celebrating Respect, which is a governing theme.

Additionally, with funds received through a grant for their Trees for Success program from the Arbor Day Foundation, students with the help of volunteers from Home Depot planted fifty trees on school property.

AES has had great academic success scoring in the top five percent on achievement tests.

24. Southside Elementary

Powell, Wyoming

As one of the top-performing schools in the state of Wyoming, this A+ school of K through 5th grade students accomplished their high academic success while educating students, forty percent or more of whom were from disadvantaged backgrounds. In the 2013–14 school year, Southside was named a National Title I Distinguished School.

Students study health, technology, music, and P.E. in addition to the regular classroom subjects. Students have access to the Park County Library System and can renew checked out items online. The school uses the Follett Destiny library program where there are several links to reading, research, and fun activities. Southside also uses iPad 2s and offers extremely reasonable insurance through an independent insurer for $33 a year.

25. Kennard Classical Junior Academy

St. LoUS Missouri

KCJA is the only tuition-free gifted elementary magnet school in Missouri. Students must apply to go to KCJA, but students are chosen by lottery. Students participate in hands-on technology training and an accelerated curriculum complete with enrichment opportunities for grades K through 5.

KCJA students had the highest scores on state-administered assessments. In 2009, it was awarded Missouri’s Gold Star School distinction for being a high-performing elementary school. In that same year, KCJA received a National Blue Ribbon Award.

Part of education at Kennard includes character goals and valUS For 2014, the three values Kennard has chosen to emphasize were respect, honesty, and responsibility. Gifted education ensures not only mandatory educational requirements, but also standards of excellence. High quality work is encouraged and all standards have observable goals.

A Positive Behavior support plan outlines how the school and teachers approach discipline infractions. Every teacher must have a peace place where a student can sit to reflect on his or her behavior. Sitting in the peace place requires writing that must be signed by a parent. Students who never have to utilize the peace place or are sent to the office receive a model citizen award at the end of the year.

26. Johnson Elementary School

Fort Thomas, Kentucky

Perhaps one of the most unique aspects of the Fort Thomas ISD is a state-of-the-art health and fitness facility, built for use by all schools in the district as the centerpiece for their program on health and wellness. While the center will be used for training athletes and act as a laboratory for education in health and physical fitness, it is also open to the community.
Johnson Elementary serves grades K through five and has the second highest average of all state-administered assessments for reading (grades three to 5), Math (grades three to 5), Science and Language Mechanics (grade 4), and Social Studies and Writing (grade 5). It was also named an Exemplary High Performing Blue Ribbon School for 2014 by the Department of Education.

There are approximately 414 students at Johnson. Students have music classes and there is a choir that meets on Thursdays after school. Band and orchestra are also offered. Students also have lessons in art and every year student art is selected and displayed in a community art show at the county library. In P.E. students learn dance, fitness, health and wellness, body systems, motor skills, body management skills, and nutrition.

Johnson Elementary accepts students from out-of-district; however, there is a tuition fee.

27. Northpoint Elementary School

Granger, Indiana

In the 2012–13 school year, Northpoint was named an Indiana Four Star School and an A school by the Indiana Department of Education. Students in fourth and fifth grade had perfect scores on both math and English/language arts. Overall, students scored well over 95% on all tests combined.

For children whose parents work, after school care is provided through a program called Kids Club where students are given several options for activities in social and recreational areas, as well as academic enrichment.

The school opened in 1998 to serve grades K through 5. In 2001, the school building was enlarged to include two music rooms, a group instruction area, and 16 classrooms. There are two computer labs, a gym, a television broadcast studio, an enclosed courtyard with an amphitheater, five miniature computer labs, and an outdoor classroom which seats forty students.

Last year, new interactive projectors were added to all classrooms, enhancing their educational experience. Along with this, our first through fifth grade students work with Chrome Books, while our kindergarteners utilize mini iPads.

Northpoint has both traditional classrooms and looping classrooms. Looping classrooms retain the same teacher for two years which opens the door for stronger student-teacher relationship, and an altogether different learning experience. Furthermore, teachers have common planning periods to better prepare for lessons and enrichment in a community setting.

28. Matthew C. Perry Elementary School

Iwakuni, Japan

M.C. Perry Elementary is a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) school, located on a Marine Corps Air Station, in Iwakuni, Japan. Students are dependents of US service members serving overseas in the Marines and Navy, as well as Department of Defense civilians. Military volunteers are vital to supporting ongoing school events, including Spring Fling, Field Day, Math/Literacy Nights, GUS Readers, Jingle Bell Jog, Month of the Military Child, Book-it, Jump Rope for Heart and other events.

Visitors to the PES campus are welcomed by the sight of an educational and community school garden. The garden provides an outdoor learning environment and classroom, which teachers use daily. Students help choose seeds for their class garden plots. Staff, students, and community volunteers tend the plots. The garden unifies the community; families often come on weekends to help in the garden.

With the commitment to excellence and expertise of 60+ staff members, PES students are provided the highest quality instruction each day. Exemplary teaching practices ensure growth and yearly progress for all students. Specialists provide instruction and interventions in reading, math, enrichment, remediation, ESL (English as a Second Language), FLES (Foreign Language of Elementary Spanish), speech pathology, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math), counseling, psychology, technology integration, art, PE, music, library/information literacy, and Japanese cultural education.

Diversity amongst the staff and students creates an optimal environment for cultural, ethnic, and geographical richness, all of which enhance classroom learning.

Strategic use of data enriches classroom instruction and ensures instruction is aligned to the school mission. Focusing on 21st Century teaching and learning, staff and students regularly analyze various data to foster the development of each child’s social, emotional, artistic, physical and academic excellence.

Monitoring practices and progress aligns with PES' vision statement, which fosters a climate for personal success: I will pursue excellence; I am responsible for my actions; I am a life-long learner; Success Begins With Me! Professional Learning Teams, Extreme Teams, and Wheel Collaboration Teams are three systematic opportunities for staff collaboration, for increasing student achievement.

The dedicated staff, high-performing students, community support and innovative thinking create a safe and strong learning environment. This atmosphere enables military-connected families to focus on their military mission, with the confidence that their children are in the best and most capable hands, at M.C. Perry Elementary School. M.C. PES was awarded the Blue Ribbon of Excellence in 2014.

M.C. Perry Elementary’s principal is Dr. Suzanne Landrum; assistant principal is Ms Jenny Reese.

29. Lincoln Avenue Academy

Lakeland, Florida

In 2014, Lincoln Avenue Academy assessment score rose from 740 to 747, out of 800 points. Achieving an almost perfect score, and the highest score in the state, Lincoln Avenue displays incredible accomplishments.

LAA, a magnet STEM school, is also an International Baccalaureate school, meaning added emphasis on individual creativity, discovery, and exploration. Students made an almost perfect score in writing and science with 99% of students at satisfactory or higher. In reading, 93% of students scored satisfactorily or higher, and in math, 93% of students performed satisfactorily or higher.

LAA accepts students from across the county and has a special education program for students with special needs. A discipline management plan eliminates disruptions to the learning environment so that students will get the maximum amount of benefit out of every class session. Students having difficulty in one or more subjects are assisted by a Response Intervention Team. Parents are expected to support their children and make sure they adhere to school policies and rules, including a uniform code.

LAA serves grades K through 5. Multicultural programs are presented throughout the year to recognize and show appreciation for the diverse population of the school. LAA has been an ‘A' school every year since 2002.

30. Northeast Elementary

Ankeny, Iowa

A relatively new school, Northeast Elementary was built in 1992 and serves grades K through 5. While certainly giving due attention to academics, Northeast takes special interest in focusing on nurturing the whole child through the arts and reflective exercises to strengthen social skills.

Art is one of the classes offered to NEE students and each month the art teacher selects students from each grade as Students of the Month. A slideshow showcasing the art of each of the students given this honor is posted on the home page of the monthly Building Newsletter. Band is also offered and fifth grade band students give a fall concert.

School counselors offer lessons for each grade to build social and emotional skills in the students. Each grade is given a unit and an essential question with learning goals for the students. Essential questions range from How could other people influence my decisions to How do I recognize feelings in myself and others?

Northeast is one of the highest performing schools in the state and in 2014 was awarded a National Blue Ribbon for being an exemplary high-performing school.

31. Bluewater Elementary

Bluewater, New Mexico

Bluewater Elementary has less than a hundred students, but serves grades K through six with great success. For the 2011–13 school year, Bluewater had a B rating by the New Mexico Department of Education, but raised that to an A rating in 2013–14, one of the highest in the state.

In November, students and parents gather non-perishable food to donate to those in need, a community project held every year at Bluewater.

Bluewater participates in a nationwide character-building initiative called the Character Counts Program. Students learn what it means to be a good person, to set a good example and to be a good person of character. Other qualities taught in the character-building program are respect, caring, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness and citizenship.

Students are encouraged to build lifelong study habits and to ask for help when there is some difficulty concerning the work or homework. Parents are given tips on how to help their children to be successful. Parents are encouraged to participate in the Advisory School Council, the PTO, and the Indian Parent Advisory Committee.

32. Chugach Optional Elementary

Anchorage, Alaska

Established by parents in 1973 as an open concept pilot program, Chugach began serving grades one through six. The grades were grouped into three major groUS primary (grades one and two), middle (grades three and four) and upper (grades five and six). The parents, with the teachers, set up multi-level learning groups so that the learning climate would allow students to learn within their own level and teachers could present material and projects in a flexible and innovative environment.

Because the classes are populated with two grades there are abundant opportunities for peer tutoring from the older grade to the younger grade. Having classes stay together for two years allows a connection to develop between teachers, students, and parents, which helps develop a lasting learning culture.

The curriculum is organized by themes that center on science, history, geography, English, and philosophy so that concepts can be taught through these multi-discipline themes.

Since the inception, Chugach Optional has experienced success on the school level, but also on the state assessments. Students participate in gymnastics, yoga, stitching projects, clay sculpting, needle crafts, and projects in the environment to help students learn by exploration.

Only 260 students are accepted each year and they are chosen by lottery. Chugach students consistently rank higher than most schools in writing, math, science, and reading.

33. John C. Vanderburg Elementary

Henderson, Nevada

A unique feature of the John C. Vanderburg Elementary School of the Clark Country School District is an on-campus rainforest biosphere which features live animals. Construction of the biosphere was funded completely through donations. It is a unique science lab, but must be maintained with fundraisers to help the care costs of the animals.

Another unique feature of this school is the Art to Remember program, which teams the art of the students with a company who can place their artwork on keepsakes that parents can enjoy throughout their children’s lives. The students also have a student council and the PTA helps to provide extra-curricular activities.

The school serves Pre-kindergarten through Fifth grade and students have additional courses in art, music, physical education, and science. Nevada adopted the Common Core standards in 2010.

The state of Nevada grades schools based upon growth in achievement and reductions in achievement gaps. John C. Vanderburg ES received a grade of 90, the highest grade achieved by any elementary school in Nevada, and achieved a five star ranking which is the highest ranking a school can receive.

The school’s motto is Be Kind, Work Hard. There are 49 teachers for Kindergarten through fifth grade.

34. Northside Elementary School

Sandpoint, Idaho

Third and fourth graders at Northside Elementary had perfect scores on state assessment tests in reading, language usage, and math. The average of all scores for third through fifth graders in reading, language usage, math, and fifth grade science was 96.4, almost perfect, making NES one of the top ten elementary schools in Idaho.

The school serves grades K through six in the Lake Pend Oreille District Number 84. Each teacher is given space on the web page for their own pages with some innovative and entertaining webpages, by some, including the second grade teacher who has class reviews and pictures by his dogs.

Textbooks are available online, as well as online help in specific subjects. The library utilizes the Follett Destiny program for catalog searches and links to Renaissance Learning, Disney Family, and DLTK’s Crafts for Kids.

As NES faces a new year at school, they, along with all other Idaho schools, face new challenges as changes in the math state assessment begin this year. Although the first administration in June will not be used to determine state rankings, it does signal a new and more rigorous math programs for 2015–16.

NSE’s community support helps make it special. Since September almost 850 volunteer hours have been clocked. With an anonymous donation over $190,000 for technology, every student 1–6th has been given their own personal iPad, external keyboard and headphones to allow them the most fluid use of this technology. Our kindergarten students have a centers worth of iPads to learn on with teacher direction.

Northside Elementary also has a large, community supported organic garden that has been featured on websites, in books and on the radio.

35. Barbara B. Rose Elementary School

South Barrington, Illinois

Students at Barbara B. Rose ES held a competition to choose the mascot for their school. The fifth grader class wrote a persuasive speech on why the mascot should be the stingray, and they won. The school helps students to become stakeholders in the smooth functioning of the school by having them create and star in videos explaining the school’s behavioral expectations and why they should not be bullies or allow someone else to be a bully.

The school is relatively new school, but is one of the top performing schools in the state. The school is truly a labor of love as students, parents, teachers, other schools, and community businesses all contributed to the fund-raising and beautification of the new campus.

The school holds a Multi-Cultural Family Fest each year with people of Scotland, China, Italy, and India participating.

36. Haleʻiwa Elementary School

Haleʻiwa, Hawaiʻi

Hale’iwa Elementary School received a 2014 Blue Ribbon Award for being a high performing school while educating as many as 200 children in preschool through sixth grade, with 40% or more coming from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The school is set in a rural residential area that boasts some of the best surfing and fishing on the island. HES is situated on the north shore of Oahu, thirty-one miles from Honolulu, Waikiki Beach, and Diamond Head Crater which sits on the southeast side of the island.

Parents and members of the military work on school and community volunteer projects together. A school newsletter, Hale’iwa Highlights, features photographs of community and military volunteers in their various projects. The 552 D MP Company from the Schofield Army Base acts as HES’s military partners in between tours to Afghanistan.

In the state achievement testing program, called the Strive HI Program, HES scored in the top 25% of all schools in Hawaiʻi, improving by nearly 5% from the previous year, thanks in part to programs such as Reading First and Everyday Math, as well as excellent teachers implementing the state’s common core standards in their classrooms. Students have opportunities for enrichment and activities after school such as the Room of Rock, the A+ after school program, leadership club, the Iwa Band, and the Junior Police Officer program.

37. Howard Elementary School

Howard, South Dakota

Howard Elementary School emphasizes character and gives weekly awards to students who demonstrate respect, fairness, caring, trustworthiness, responsibility, and/or citizenship through the Character Counts program. As part of that program, parents, with their children, can participate in the Tiger Pride Paws Program and volunteer with several different community projects in which the school participates.

Students in grades K through six attend Howard Elementary and through F.A.S.T. (Fun After School Program), students can have structure and supervision after school with fun activities to share with their peers. Businesses and individuals of the community have generously donated both time and money to develop and grow this program, making the school a community concern. Any student in grades K through six may participate.

HES utilizes an online resource to encourage students to write and improve their writing. It is called Write to Learn and helps students who are learning English as a second language, and all students develop reading comprehension and literacy.

The administration keeps parents and the community up-to-date through a monthly online newsletter called Tiger Tales. Important announcements are made, procedures are explained, resources for planning for a college education are provided, and tips are furnished to help parents help their children.

38. Lake Oconee Academy

Greensboro, Georgia

Lake Oconee Academy (LOA) is a public charter school to which all prospective students must apply. Students are chosen through a lottery, not merit. It is a tuition-free, public charter school for the residents of Greene County. LOA opened in 2007 and currently serves grades PK – 9th with expansion through grade 12 by 2017–18.

Located just south of Interstate 20, LOA rests approximately halfway between Atlanta and Augusta. The school uses Common Core/Georgia Performance Standards along with Core Knowledge Curriculum standards which build upon each other so that students will have a deeper foundation of knowledge in the core subjects. The Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning administers a Bright from the Start Pre-K4 program at LOA.

The elementary and middle school is a 60,000 square feet facility featuring learning neighborhoods with plentiful open spaces. The school features a media center and rooms for special programs such as the gifted and talented classes, music, language, art, and science labs.

Each of the twenty-six classrooms features smart boards with which students can interact using their own computers and have the ability to connect to all school services from home. Students in K through five participate in an elementary basketball league. The 3rd grade students perform an elaborate production of Alice in Wonderland each year. All 4th grade students learn to play piano in the school’s piano lab and 5th grade students play in the school band.

39. Bethany Elementary School

Beaverton, Oregon

Positive, Academic, and Willing Students (PAWS) populate Bethany Elementary School. PAWS is Bethany Elementary’s citizenship program, encouraging exemplary character in its students.

Students at Bethany Elementary School benefit from a strong partnership between parent volunteers and school staff. There are over 350 approved volunteers throughout the school and approximately 30–35 volunteers assisting on a daily basis.

Bethany is also a Watch DOGS (Dads of Great Students) School. This program is aimed at increasing the influence of positive male role models. Watch DOGS members patrol the campus, greet students and families, and assist in the classroom.

In geography, students study the countries by continents in a program designed for BES called Geo Quest. Participation is voluntary until fifth grade, but typically about 75% of all students participate. There is a trophy for each grade each month and the classroom that earns the trophy the most times receives a pizza party at the end of the year. Students also earn points individually.

Students that earn at least six points will receive a prize at the end of the year. The GEO QUS provides another opportunity for parents and other community members to volunteer because graders are needed for each level.

BES is a Level five school with the highest report card rating. Parents are kept abreast of events and announcements through a weekly newsletter, social media, and a school-wide texting service.

After school, students may participate in basketball through the YMCA, the Bethany Cub Scouts and Girl ScoUS a Lego Bricks program called Bricks4Kidz to emphasize principles of S.T.E.M., a program to teach principles of science while having fun called Mad Science, an art club, and a fitness program where students can learn how to keep fit while having fun.

40. Eastside Elementary School

Rogers, Arkansas

With 530 students, Eastside Elementary serves students in grades K through 5, with forty percent or more from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Students are given many opportunities for enrichment. Fifth graders make up the ETV News Team, which operates through the school’s media center. Second graders have a grade-wide project that begins in early spring when they begin working in the school greenhouse making preparations for the Mother’s Day plant sale. Volunteers plant seedlings so the plants will be ready to sell when Mother’s Day arrives.

Fifth grade students are an important element in the school. They comprise the yearbook staff and the Safety Patrol, helping after school with the car/rider line. Students who participate in the activities reserved for fifth graders learn valuable lessons in responsibility.

The school provides tips to parents on how to improve their child’s memory and to help them to instruct their children on building good and effective observation skills. There are also tips for parents who want to help their children work with fractions. In the school’s media center, students can access learning games, including those that are interactive with the classroom smart boards.

41. Wayland Bonds Elementary School

Moore, Oklahoma

On a 100 point scale, Wayland Bonds Elementary scored a 103 for the 2013 to 2014 school year. All students in grades three and five scored in 90s in reading and math. Fourth graders scored a high A in math and a high B in reading. Fifth graders made As in science and writing.

The school serves over 500 students in grades Pre-K through 6. The school opened in 2005 and features multiple activities for students including art, archery, student council, music, a walking club, a safety patrol, an after-school program, scoUS and basketball for sixth graders.

In the media center the students have access to printed books and activities as well as computer resources and activities. Teachers and media center specialists collaborate to create learning units to bring together classroom content with information skills.

Multiple businesses in the community partner with WBES, donating goods, services, and money to assist the school.

The school was named after a former school superintendent who taught in Kansas before joining the army. He then moved to Moore where he taught before entering administration.

42. Caledonia Elementary School

Caledonia, Mississippi

Caledonia Elementary students are Master Renaissance Reading and Master Renaissance Math students. As of the fall of 2014, the principal had been with the school thirty-eight years. The school is an A rated school in the Mississippi system and has been for nine years. Students are successful even with a more difficult grading scale (94 to 100 is an A, 85 to 93 is a B and 75 to 84 is a C) Students who make all As are placed on the Superintendent’s List while A/B students are placed on the Principal’s List.

There are over a thousand students enrolled at CES in grades K through 5. In addition to the Renaissance Reading program, students have access to other computer software programs such as STAR Math & Reading tests, STAR Early Literacy Skills, Accelerated Vocabulary, a writing skills program, and voice quizzes for beginning readers.

Caledonia was the first school in Mississippi to be a Reading Renaissance Model School and the first school in the country to become a Master Certified Reading Renaissance School. The Institute for Academic Excellence awarded certification to Caledonia as the first school in the country to receive Master School Certification.

43. Canyon Creek Elementary

Austin, Texas

In 2014, 2013 and 2011, Canyon Creek Elementary scored 99% in writing, science, writing, and math. Rated as an exemplary school by the Texas Education Agency, in 2014 ratings, Canyon Creek has been designated as a six star school for earning distinction status in writing, math, reading, and science.

The school opened in 1998 and has been included ten times in the Texas Business and Education Coalition Honor Roll. Serving grades Kindergarten through fifth grade, all students participate in a class science project. Individual students may create and present their own personal science projects if they wish. The projects are judged on Science Night, and winners attend the Austin Energy Regional Science Fair.

In addition to a physical library, the district provides an online library for students. The library offers a reading incentive program and a birthday book program. Students have music, art, and physical wellness education in addition to the academic courses required.

44. Jackson Township Elementary

Brazil, Indiana

With close to 300 students, the students in this K through five school take part in the Shurley Method Language Program where students are given a concentrated program in English. Additionally, they take part in the Jackson Township Elementary Character Education Program and students study thirty-three characteristics which are emphasized in daily lessons as well as through visual aids available throughout the school.

Jackson Township Elementary is a member of Artsonia, a website claiming to be the largest kids' art museum where students can post their work, maintain personalized art pages, and participate in online art contests. It also participates in the National Gallery of Art for kids, an interactive website that is both educational and fun. The art teacher also co-authors a website for music and the culinary arts.

JTES’s pro-reading efforts have led to ingenious ways of helping young students choose books that are appropriate for their reading levels. By starting early in elementary school, students will be better poised to become better readers in middle school. Students are also taught library rules, a good practice to start young, as well as instruction in the Dewey Decimal System.

45. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary

Ann Arbor, Michigan

One unique feature King Elementary is a summer space camp where students create robots that can operate anywhere, including under the water or in the air! Students build and launch rockets and get the opportunity to experience space simulators.

Before and after school, an enrichment program called King’s Kids is held for students whose parents work. Students are not restricted to interaction with their peers, but can participate in activities with students whom they choose. Students are presented with activities and projects designed specifically for education, but which also provide a great deal of pleasure and recreation. King’s Kids is run by a non-profit organization and is supported by the school district through the Recreation and Education Department.

KES serves grades K through five and students receive instruction in Spanish, music, art, and all academic subjects. Every day starts with a morning meeting in which students can actively participate and teachers can teach the character traits in the Lifelong Guideline and Life Skills curriculum. When students demonstrate any of the characteristics taught by this curriculum, any adult in the district can reward those students with an appreciation token. Appreciation tokens are then placed in to a jar in the student’s classroom. When the class collects a certain amount of tokens, the class has a celebration.

Students participate in the Science Olympiad and the Math Olympiad. Students also assist with the planting and care of the school’s garden. Third through fifth graders can compete in strategic math, logic, language arts, and social studies thinking games, participating in competitions on the regional, state, and national levels.

46. Benfield Elementary School

Severna Park, Maryland

First opened in 1962, Benfield Elementary serves students in grades K through 5. Students in grades 3, 4, and five scored almost perfect scores in both reading and math. Students receive enrichment in a visual arts program tailored for students based upon their academic progress and talents.

The Office of Environmental Literacy and Outdoor Education Program provides students with opportunities to learn in an outdoor setting and learn about the environment in which they live. Through the Chesapeake Stewards program, students, parents, and volunteers learn how to act responsibly when utilizing the bay. Participants are encouraged to plant trees, collect rainwater in specialized barrels, pick up trash and animal waste, recycle and compost, reduce the use of energy, and prevent erosion. Students visiting the Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center participate in activities that involve the land, the water, and the habitat.

The Media Center has a curriculum for every grade so that students will get more out of library and media resources. The center lists a bevy of online resources for students to use at home or at school.

47. Rose Tree Elementary

Media, Pennsylvania

In fourth grade, Rose Tree Elementary students can begin learning how to perform on a stringed instrument so they can be part of the orchestra program. Group lessons are provided and parents are given a list of private instructors they may utilize if they wish to have more in-depth instruction. Students may also start in band when they are in fourth grade.

In fifth grade students may participate in a volunteer service club called Kind Important Dependable Students (K.I.D.S.) wherein they can participate in activities such as reading to kindergarten students, assisting in special events, assisting instructors in their classrooms, and putting together packages for needy families in the community. Students meet in an assembly at the beginning of the year to learn about the program and must apply and meet certain qualifications to be accepted. Those who are accepted meet every other Thursday after school.

In addition to academic classes, students take art, music, and P.E. Rose Tree has been recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for its achievements and has a total score for 2014 of 94.8.

48. Madison School

Hinsdale, Illinois

Originally build in 1924, Madison School has undergone many changes and renovations over the years. The most recent changes, completed in 2006, included a 16,000 square foot addition and 10,000 square feet of space was renovated.

Madison has had a great deal of academic success with superior scores — some of the highest scores on state assessment tests. Students have the opportunity to participate in chess club, Spanish lessons, band, choir, newspaper club, yoga club, forensic science, and perform in band and choir concerts.

The media center has an online catalog, and staff members help teach students to use technology and use resources available there. The library curriculum is weaved into the school curriculum so that students will get the most of their technology and classroom instruction. The library also teaches students to properly cite sources and upholds standards of information literacy.

Parents play an important part in the success of Madison at home and through the Parent Teacher Organization. PTO groups work to raise money to assist schools and to volunteer when needed. The district teaches a program on Emotional Learning for Academic Success and the PTO supports this program offering programs for parents, on a variety of topics, that they can reiterate at home.

49. Forestbrook Elementary School

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

In 2014, Forestbook Elementary received an A rating from the South Carolina State Department of Education for performance that substantially exceeded the state’s expectations. Forestbrook has received an excellent rating every year since 2010. Students are tested in writing, reading and research (English/language arts), math, science, and social studies. South Carolina adheres to the common core curriculum.

KidPower is an after-school program that helps students increase their social skills, but also helps students with schoolwork while providing fun activities.

At school, students receive special instruction in music, art, P.E., speech, and technology. Students use the accelerated reading program, and through the media center, have access to a wide array of online resources for online learning, including Compass Odyssey, Edmodo, ImagineIt, KidBiz3000, and SpellingCity. Students have several resources for finding books to read for pleasure and for research.

50. George Hall Elementary

Mobile, Alabama

George Hall Elementary used to be one of the lowest performing schools in the state, but the principal and teaching staff have turned that around to make it one of the highest performing schools in the state! GHE’s achievements over the past ten years have made it a school of distinction.

The school was named after the first teacher who was hired by Mobile County School Board. Almost all students at the school live within two miles of the school.

Students are provided a variety of enrichment activities including a wide array of online learning games and activities that they can access from home, or at school. The school employs a library media specialist and technology facilitator to help students with technological learning.

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