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And the blue ribbon goes to...College Wood Elementary

In a press release from Carmel Clay Schools, the announcement was made that U.S Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, named College Wood Elementary a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School, designating them as one of the best schools in the nation.

College Wood Elementary is one among only 342 schools across the U.S. to receive this incredible honor. This is the second time that College Wood has been named a Blue Ribbon school, the last time was 32 years ago in 1985. Carmel Clay Schools has celebrated this honor 11 times since 1982,most recently with West Clay Elementary in 2016.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

College Wood Elementary was nominated for the award by the Indiana State Department of Education and then selected as one of the few schools across the nation to receive the impressive status of Exemplary High Performing School by the U.S Department of Education.

To be eligible to be a high performing school, schools must score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by the national norms in the most recent year tested. This means that schools must rank in the top 15 percent of all schools on state assessments in both reading and mathematics. Each subgroup of students at the school must also be in the top 40 percent in the state on state assessments.

“Carmel Clay Schools is excited to once again recognize College Wood Elementary for the prestigious National Blue Ribbon designation,” said Dr. Nicholas D. Wahl, Superintendent of Carmel Clay Schools.

“This award is a culmination of all the incredible work that our students, staff, and parents do each day to inspire learning and cultivate a culture of success inside and outside of the classroom. We are very proud of this accomplishment and looking forward to celebrating this achievement within the district and Carmel community.”

College Wood Elementary Principal Kathy Olssen and Assistant Principal Alissa Carmichael will attend the two-day award ceremony in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their outstanding achievement.

“It means the world to me to have College Wood Elementary receive this honor,” said College Wood Elementary Principal Kathy Olssen. “College Wood has such hardworking students, staff and parents. The commitment to excellence is present in all of our classrooms, at our PTO events and in our staff professional development. It is incredible to see how much pride and dedication our entire school community has in ensuring all children reach their full potential. We are very excited to celebrate this major accomplishment with the community.”

For more information about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, please visit

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