STEM named national Blue Ribbon School

STEM students stand outside the school with a handmade banner reading STEM National Blue Ribbon School.

For the second year in a row, Dearborn Public Schools has a building being recognized as a high-performing National Blue Ribbon School.

On Oct. 1, the U.S. Department of Education gave the honor to STEM Middle School, a small, special program for the highest performing students in the district. The school with 160 students in sixth through eighth grades is part of the Dearborn Heights Campus. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Middle School opened in 2014.

“We are so pleased with the achievement and success of our STEM Middle School students and staff. Their collaborative focus of integrating science, technology and math, while challenging each student to individually achieve and improve, is exciting to witness. We understand what an honor it is to be recognized at this level and congratulate our students, staff and community,” said Shannon Peterson, Executive Director of Student Achievement for the Fordson High Feeder Track. She also oversees the Dearborn Heights Campus programs.

Only 349 schools in the country, including 13 in Michigan were named National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Blue Ribbon Schools are selected based on their overall academic excellence or their progress closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. STEM had 95 percent or more of students proficient in both math and English language arts on the spring 2018 Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). The English score ranked in the top 10 in Michigan, and math was in the top five for school-wide scores.

“It’s very exciting. We are only the second school in the district to receive the award and the first middle school,” said STEM Principal Dr. Winifred Green. Last year, Becker Elementary was the first Dearborn Public School to be recognized with a National Blue Ribbon Award.

STEM obviously benefits from selecting the best performing students to attend, but the school’s small size and career focus help it push students even higher, Green said. Student success is supported by the staff, central office, the School Board, and the committed parents who agree to send their children to the school, she said. 

“The fact you are getting them focused on a career is a plus for the students,” said Green, who also oversees the Michael Berry Career Center and the Dearborn Center for Math, Science and Technology on the same campus.

Representatives from Dearborn Schools and STEM will be in Washington, D.C. on November 7-8 to receive the award from the Department of Education.