On Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019, Lexington County School District One’s Lake Murray Elementary School students and employees gathered in the school cafeteria and library for a special surprise announcement.
As Principal Jennifer Stanley announced that LMES was one of four South Carolina schools that won a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School Award, cheers and applause erupted from the excited group of LMES Mariners.
Superintendent Greg Little said, “We are so proud of the commitment and dedication of the staff and thankful for the support of the community. National Blue Ribbon School is a tremendous honor that highlights the amazing things happening at Lake Murray Elementary every day.”
The U.S. Department of Education, who released the list of the 2019 winners, says the recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Lake Murray Elementary, recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School because it is among South Carolina’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests, serves approximately 858 increasingly students in grades Pre-K–5 with 107 employees.
Students’ families speak 20 different languages other than English, and the school serves 10 different conditions within its population of special education students.
Located in the close-knit Lexington community, LMES opened in 1999. Through rapid student growth and change, the school’s culture remains constant. The staff believes that they are there to impact positively the children who grace their halls each day. Having their best interest in mind permeates every decision made, every thoughtful word spoken, and every relationship formed.
In order to achieve the standards for college and career readiness, their instructional methods use collaborative practice and the workshop model. They carefully analyze data to ensure student progress takes place. Teachers rely on small group instruction, individual conferences, and goal setting to give the students the tools they need for academic progress.
A Palmetto Gold and Silver award winner and a past Leader in Me School Lighthouse School, LMES wants every child to have a mentor and actively seeks support from community members, parents and the neighboring high school to provide their students with another caring adult to help them navigate their lives confidently.
Collaborative practice, collegial staff, and engaged stakeholders help make LMES a National Blue Ribbon School.