Return to Headlines

Christmas comes early at Delmae Elementary: School named Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Lighthouse School

There was a celebration Monday afternoon at Delmae Heights Elementary School as staff received the news they had all been hoping for: Delmae is officially a 2021 Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence, Lighthouse School.

Delmae staff celebrate being named a Lighthouse School

Principal Roy Ann Jolley said the award is a validation of the dedication she sees every day from the entire Delmae school family.

“When I think about this recognition, I think about the hard work of all the individuals in this building,” Jolley said. “I think of this as confirmation that what we’re doing here at Delmae is the right thing and we’re going in the right direction. Because of that, our students are benefitting.”

Jolley shared the news on the intercom with the entire school and cheers could be heard down every hallway. She said that this award was the best Christmas present that she could have gotten.

The distinguished Lighthouse School Award is given to schools who meet a set of criteria from the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence (BRSE) national validated assessment process. This process includes evaluating nine performance areas found within high-performing schools. The nine areas are:

  • Student Focus and Support
  • School Organization and Culture
  • Challenging Standard and Curriculum 
  • Active Teaching and Learning
  • Technology and Integration
  • Professional Community
  • Leadership and Education Vitality
  • School, Family, and Community Partnerships
  • Indicators of Success

In addition to the comprehensive review process for the nine performance areas, stakeholder surveys, interviews, and onsite school visits were also completed. 

Dr. Judy Warden Fields, Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence CEO, applauded Delmae Elementary School for their courage, collaborative spirit and commitment to excellence in ensuring all students get the education they deserve - all while dealing with the disruptions of a global pandemic.

Florence 1 Superintendent Richard O’Malley, Assistant Superintendent Michelle McBride and Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence assessor Johnny Calder hand-delivered the Lighthouse School award news Monday afternoon, complete with a cake.

“Florence 1 Schools is excited to acknowledge Delmae Heights Elementary School achieving the status of Lighthouse as recognized by Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence,” said Michelle McBride, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction PK-5. “The school did an excellent job showcasing best practices of instruction during the visit. This recognition affirms the engaging high-quality instruction that takes place on a daily basis at the school. Mrs. Roy Ann Jolley and her staff have done a great job creating an inviting school culture for students, parents, teachers, and community.”  

Florence 1 Schools has concluded the first round of BRSE assessments. Ten schools were evaluated during this period and Delmae was the third to receive the highest honor of the Lighthouse School award. A second round of ten assessments will take place in Spring 2022.