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LCISD’s Velasquez Elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

All the smiling faces belong to the faculty at Velasquez Elementary.

Lamar CISD’s Velasquez Elementary joined the ranks of the nation’s elite schools on Friday, receiving official word that the campus is a National Blue Ribbon School.

Velasquez is one of only 18 schools in Texas to receive the nation’s highest honor for academic achievement. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 269 schools as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels.

“I am so proud of everyone in the Velasquez family,” said Velasquez principal Heather Patterson. “That includes every student, parent, teacher and staff member. We have always stressed that they can be the best and this is the proof.”

In addition to Velasquez, Lamar CISD currently has two other Blue Ribbon Schools: Austin Elementary and Ray Elementary.

The Department of Education will honor approximately 219 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 12-13 in Washington, D.C.

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing,” in which schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is “Exemplary Improving,” in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

Velasquez opened in 2006 and has been ranked Exemplary by the Texas Education Agency every year.

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