For the first time ever, not one, but TWO Barrington 220 schools have earned the National Blue Ribbon Award from the U.S. Department of Education. Countryside and Grove Elementary Schools are among 329 schools nationwide to receive the 2016 award, which honors schools for helping students achieve at high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.
Countryside Principal Jennifer Barnabee credits her school’s passion for its success. “The staff here passionately dedicates itself to growing all learners from within our walls to outside the community. The students passionately dedicate themselves to achieving excellence in not only their academics, but also in their philanthropic efforts,” Barnabee says. “The families and communities passionately support our goals in daily partnerships at the school. The hard work involved in achieving the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award shows that together, our passion is boundless!”
This is Grove Avenue School’s third National Blue Ribbon Schools Award, having previously earned it in 1992 and 2008. Grove has earned more Blue Ribbon Schools Awards than any other school in Barrington 220’s history. Principal Katie Matthews says kids come first at Grove, and it shows.
“The energy and efforts of the staff are focused on meeting the unique needs of each individual child and providing an exemplary learning environment that is not only safe for students physically and mentally, but also intellectually engaging, academically challenging and fun! Students are equally enthusiastic about learning and strive to achieve excellence on a daily basis. Grove’s staff and parents are a collaborative team who support students and continue to nurture productive citizens and independent learners. The Blue Ribbon Award is an honor that reflects the hard work and dedication of the entire Grove community.”
Grove and Countryside will be honored by the U.S. Department of Education on Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C. Other Barrington 220 Blue Ribbon Award winners from previous years include Barrington High School (1993), Arnett C. Lines Elementary School (1994 and 2009), Roslyn Road Elementary School (2013), Barbara B. Rose Elementary School (2014) and Hough Street Elementary School (2015).