— With TEAM Academy Charter School in Waseca being fewer than 10 years old, director Jill Ladwig was pretty excited recently to learn about the school’s award.
TEAM Academy has been named one of the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on academic excellence. The national award is giving annual to high-performing public and private K-12 schools and schools that have made significant gains in closing the achievement gap, with 269 schools being recognized this year.
Because of high test scores, among other factors, TEAM Academy was nominated for the award in January, along with eight other Minnesota schools. Ladwig said the school then went through a lengthy application process. The news of the award came a week ago.
“I was just very happy and just very happy for all of our staff and our students who have worked so hard,” Ladwig said.
The program recognizes schools in two categories: “Exemplary High Performing,” meaning schools that are among their state’s highest performing on state tests; and “Exemplary Improving,” which are schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrating the most progress in improving student achievement levels.
Ladwig and fourth-grade teacher Chris Hering will travel Nov. 12-13 to Washington, D.C., to accept the school’s award. Both have been at TEAM Academy since the school opened in 2004.
Hartley Elementary School in Waseca was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2006.