ICSBlueRibbonStamp_1976_069292015Immanuel Christian School is pleased to announce we have been named a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Immanuel Christian School is one of only fifty private schools nationally and one of only five private schools in Virginia to be designated as a National Blue Ribbon School this year. The award is based on our school’s overall academic excellence or progress in improving student academic achievement.

U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, in his official announcement made on September 29th, stated, “National Blue Ribbon Schools represent examples of educational excellence.” Being named a National Blue Ribbon School becomes a mark of excellence in education recognized by everyone from parents to policymakers in thousands of communities, as noted by the U.S. Department of Education.

Stephen Danish, Head of School, responded to the announcement saying, “This is an honor that the entire staff, past and current, should be very proud of achieving. The high expectations, comprehensive curriculum and strong partnership between our board, educational staff and parents have made this possible. It is tremendously gratifying to see our academic success within a biblical context and the achievement of our dedicated faculty, who are mature followers of Christ, recognized at the national level. Being chosen as a Blue Ribbon School is an acknowledgement that our school community has successfully worked together united in our common mission – Partnering with families to inspire purposeful lives of learning, godliness and service.”

Chris Gleason, ICS Board Chairman added, “While this award recognizes one year in particular, the accomplishment is due to the continuous effort over the years by our students and faculty. The Blue Ribbon designation confirms the ongoing collaboration that takes place every day in our school. It is an outstanding achievement and, on behalf of the School Board I extend my congratulations to the entire Immanuel Christian School community on this honor.”

“My congratulations go out to the staff, students and community of Immanuel Christian School for this outstanding accomplishment,” said Dale Pinkley, Assistant Head of School. “The achievement standard is extremely difficult to meet just for the nomination, with an even tougher application and review process in order to win the award.”

WHAT IS A BLUE RIBBON SCHOOL?

What is the Blue Ribbon Award?

Blue Ribbon status is conferred on public and private schools that have demonstrated superiority in their academic program, consistently high scores on standardized testing across all grade levels, relevance in their interaction with the surrounding community, and articulate, forward-leaning guidance from the school’s leadership. In order to apply for Blue Ribbon a school must meet an 85th percentile standardized testing threshold in math and reading scores for the current year.

What did ICS do to receive Blue Ribbon status?

The ICS leadership began the application process for this year’s award in the summer of 2014 when members of the faculty and staff met to coordinate the self-study and report writing that is required to meet the stringent standards for Blue Ribbon. Over the next months, various members of the office staff and faculty contributed information for inclusion in the application. By the time the final document was ready, it had been thoroughly reviewed by the school leadership and was submitted in January 2015.

The Blue Ribbon application from ICS noted the many innovative and proven instructional methods employed by teachers at each grade level and subject area.

Advances in our technology program, authentic opportunities for community service and consistent improvement in standardized testing scores were all described. Most important, however, was the honest characterization of Immanuel Christian School as an institution whose purpose is to teach students biblical truth and whose mission is to partner with families to inspire our students for lives of learning, godliness and service.

What advantage is there in being a Blue Ribbon school?

On November 8th, 2015, in a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Head of School Steve Danish received a congratulatory plaque and flag from the Secretary of Education. In addition, the DOE website includes the location and description of ICS – this publicity is available to families who are looking for a private school in our locale.

We thank the Lord for this recognition and pray that He will use this to increase our ministry to children and families in Northern Virginia.