DeKALB, Texas -- DeKalb Elementary is adding a feather to the district's cap.
The school of 324 students was announced Friday as a National Blue Ribbon School -- one of just 31 schools in Texas and 297 nationwide to receive the designation from the U.S. Department of Education.
DeKalb Elementary earned the recognition for its overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
"I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams," Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said as he made the announcement during his Road to Success Back to School bus tour. "As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children."
Cardona said Blue Ribbon Schools go "above and beyond" in keeping students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional and mental health needs.
"These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students' lives," Cardona said.
DeKalb Superintendent Dr. Chris Galloway said the Blue Ribbon designation testifies to the diligence of the students at the Pre-K to Grade 4 campus and their 23 teachers.
"Three years ago, DeKalb Elementary was rated an F campus, and now is one of the best campuses in the country. A focus on high-quality reading instruction, data-driven best practices, and personalized instruction for each student is what has led to DeKalb Elementary receiving the Blue Ribbon Award," Galloway said.
DeKalb was nominated for the award by the Texas Education Agency in February.
"Public schools are considered for nomination based on student performance on the first administration of the previous year's STAAR assessments, as well as College and Career data and Graduation rates if applicable," the TEA said in a February news release.
DeKalb Elementary was the only school in the region to receive the 2022 Blue Ribbon designation.
For a complete list of this years honorees, visit www.nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov.
Gazette reporter Andrew Bell contributed to this article.