Dickinson ISD News
Calder Road Elementary Named 2021 National Blue Ribbon School




Calder Road Elementary in Dickinson ISD named 2021 National 
Blue Ribbon School by United States Department of Education



It’s a Blue Ribbon Day at Calder Road Elementary in Dickinson ISD as it was announced today that the campus has been named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education. Making the announcement even more special is that this is the first school in Dickinson ISD history to receive this prestigious honor. 

Only 26 schools in Texas and 325 schools across the United States were selected this year for the National Blue Ribbon School honor. Initiated by the USDE in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that have high student achievement and/or highlights where exemplary progress has been made in closing achievement gaps among student subpopulations. Since the programs founding, 9,000 schools across the nation have received this honor.

In Calder Road’s case, the school is being recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing School for being among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

“Calder Road Elementary is an extraordinary school that has spent focused time developing and using exemplary systems for planning, monitoring, and accelerating instruction, tracking student progress and growth, and meeting social and emotional needs of students. Because of their hard work and commitment, Calder Road Elementary is among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps,” says Dickinson ISD Superintendent Carla Voelkel. “We are extremely proud of Calder Road Elementary for being nominated by Governor Abbott for this prestigious award and being selected by the USDE as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.” 

Texas public schools are considered for the nomination based on student performance on the first administration of the previous year’s STAAR assessments, which in this case was the Spring 2019 STAAR assessment since the 2020 administration was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each school must have an economically disadvantaged population of 25 percent or more, which Calder Road surpasses with 57 percent of the student population identified as economically disadvantaged. 
“Being named a National Blue Ribbon School is a validation of everything that happens on this campus – every day and every minute,” says Principal Sophia Acevedo. “The success of Calder Road is 100 percent, driven by the staff. They make magic happen every day and that impacts our culture. Calder Road’s staff is a blue ribbon staff that works hard every day for kids. They are empowered to make decisions and changes as needed. They are innovative, and they are what makes Calder Road successful.”

Governor Greg Abbott and the Texas Education Agency announced in February that Calder Road Elementary was one of the Texas nominees. Since then, the school staff has worked to complete a rigorous USDE application process in hopes of being selected for the national honor.

In making the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip earlier today, United States Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said, “This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish. I commend this school and all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs,” He added, “In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

USDE will release a video at 10 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Sept. 22 of Secretary Cardona making the announcement of National Blue Ribbon Schools. Calder Road Elementary will be recognized with the other 2021 National Blue Ribbon School honorees at a special ceremony in November in Washington, D.C.



Calder Road Principal Sophia Acevedo (center) celebrates with her staff following the announcement that the campus was named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.


DISD Superintendent Carla Voelkel visited Calder Road to announce that the campus has been selected as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.

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