Lindbergh named a national Blue Ribbon School

Students and an adult peer through the fence outside Lindbergh Elementary school on Sept. 26, 2019. Small blue ribbons are tied to the fence.

For the third year in a row, the U.S. Department of Education is recognizing a Dearborn Public School as a National Blue Ribbon School.

Charles A. Lindbergh Elementary was officially added to this prestigious list on Thursday, Sept. 26.  Lindbergh has 325 students in Young 5s kindergarten through fifth grade.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovate cultures of teaching and learning.”

Only 362 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. Lindbergh was named an “exemplary” school for overall achievement.

“Lindbergh staff and principals have sustained a culture of academic excellence.  This award affirms the hard work students, staff, families, and the school community do to create a safe and welcoming school where students are inspired to excel,” said Fatme Faraj, Dearborn Schools executive director of student achievement over Lindbergh.

Lindbergh last year was recognized as a Lighthouse School under the international Leader in Me program, which teaches students skills to succeed at school and in life. Fourth and fifth graders can join the National Elementary Honors Society.

Among Lindbergh’s students, 18 percent are English learners and 36 percent are low-income. For the last several years, Lindbergh has scored above the state and District rates in reading and math on external assessments.  Last spring, more than two-thirds of Lindbergh’s students scored proficient or better on the English and math sections of the state Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress.  Statewide, 46 percent of students were proficient in English language arts and 41 percent in math on the M-STEP.

Lindbergh opened in 1928, a year after Charles Lindbergh made his historic trans-Atlantic flight on the Spirit of St. Louis.  The school mascot is the “Flyers.”

Lindbergh “owes its success to its ability to create a positive school culture grounded in its traditions and its strong sense of community,” according to the school’s application for the award. “As a school community, our commitment to creating leaders that are empathetic, balanced, goal-oriented, reflective global citizens is a key factor to our success.  We pride ourselves on having high standards and expectations and ensuring that our families and community are actively engaged in everything we do.”

In the application, the school attributed some of its success to the Leader in Me program, which it adopted four years ago.  That program is based on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

“Since that time, our hallways have transformed with student-created artifacts and murals dedicated to the habits.  Our classrooms have become habit centered, allowing our students to become not only strong readers, but also strong leaders.  An already strong ‘flyer’ community has grown together to reach new heights,” the application reads.

Representatives from Dearborn Schools and Lindbergh Elementary will be in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 14 and 15 to receive the award from the Department of Education.

Principal Zainah Tiba was understandably proud of her school’s recognition.

“We are honored to have received this recognition as it validates our commitment to student achievement and the development of lifelong learners and global citizens. Congratulations to the entire Lindbergh community.  Without our determined students, dedicated staff, and supportive parents, none of this would have been possible,” Tiba said.