Two Mobile County public schools, Council Traditional School and Alba Middle School, have been named 2017 Lighthouse Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.
To earn the distinction, schools must grade “excellent” in each of nine categories: student focus and support; school organization and culture; challenging standards and curriculum; active teaching and learning; technology integration; professional community; leadership and educational vitality; school, family and community partnerships; and indicators of success.
The evaluation process includes numerous classroom walk-throughs; a series of interviews with teachers, administrators, students and parents; and a process of self-reflection.
Alba Middle Principal Rhonda Mayfield said the process not only confirms that the schools are providing an exemplary education, but helped them identify areas in which they can improve.
“Going through the Blue Ribbon process gave our faculty and staff the ability to see what we could not see,” Mayfield said. “We have always provided rigorous programs along with multiple extracurricular and co-curricular activities for our students. The Blue Ribbon process validated our claims but also challenged us to look to the next level.
“It reminded us that complacency is detrimental to the continuous improvement of our school, while a dynamic vision and mission are vital for our growth. We should never lose sight that our students are always deserving of the best that we have to offer.”
Council had also been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2013. Council Principal Hattie Alexander said it’s important for the school to continue to strive for growth and improvement, however, and the Lighthouse Blue Ribbon process was an opportunity to do just that.
“You don’t want to just rest on your laurels,” she said. “You can always grow … just to continue to keep that level of high expectations and standards growing here at Council.”
Alexander said one of the areas in which Council is seeking to grow after the Lighthouse Blue Ribbon process is increased interaction with parents and students through advisory boards and focus groups.
“This is a continuous process to improve our school to be the best that it can be for our students, faculty, staff, stakeholders, and the community as a whole,” Mayfield added. “Receiving this award has been an encouragement and has brought pride to our faculty, staff and the entire community.”