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Unified School District of De Pere

Foxview Intermediate Earns 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools Honor

Foxview Intermediate School has been recognized by U.S. Secretary of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona as 2021 National Blue Ribbon School award winner. The school earned its distinction as an Exemplary High Performing School, scoring in the top 15 percent on state academic assessments. Other evaluation criteria included data on curriculum and instruction; school climate, culture and leadership; and strategies for academic success.

“This award is the result of the outstanding leadership and work ethic of our faculty, staff, and students at Foxview. It’s also a testament to the excellent work being done at Altmayer, Dickinson and Heritage elementary schools to prepare their students for attendance at Foxview which educates all of the District’s fifth and sixth graders,” said De Pere Superintendent Ben Villarruel.

Foxview Principal Andy Bradford said, “We are humbled to be selected as a National Blue Ribbon School. To be included among the best schools in the nation doesn’t happen overnight. Many years of work have been put in by our Foxview team along with other District staff, to build a consistent guaranteed curriculum based on our District’s Pyramid for Success, to create a safe, supportive learning environment, to meet each learner’s individual needs, and to stay closely connected with our families and community.”

The Pyramid for Success emphasizes a focus on individual students, taking every aspect of their experience into consideration, including social, emotional, behavioral, and academic experiences. The curriculum at Foxview prepares students to transition successfully from elementary school to middle school with a robust guaranteed curriculum and a host of exploratory options. Students experience variety in their coursework, taking core subjects, related arts, and performance music options. Teachers use quality instructional practices to meet students where they are at and continue their learning journey. Details specific to each student are vital as Foxview transitions approximately 300 students into the building each year. Commitment to these practices and focus on the individual student have historically equated to high performance by students. In the 2018-19 school year the school received a rating of "Significantly Exceeds Expectations" on the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction report card. 

Kindness and a spirit of community are supported with an annual Kindness Retreat. Anti-bullying and inclusivity are reinforced via Foxview’s Purple Hand Pledge ceremony in which students pledge they will not use their hands or their words to harm themselves or others. Surveys help to identify students who are struggling or isolated so appropriate supports can be offered. Community building is achieved through a series of schoolwide celebrations and traditions as part of the school’s Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) programming. 

Foxview is joined by six other Wisconsin schools selected for the National Blue Ribbon Schools/Exemplary High Performing School honor, and 2 Wisconsin schools honored in the Exemplary Achievement/Gap Closing Schools category. Schools are nominated by the State Superintendent based on multiple criteria, including percent of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, demonstrating dramatic improvement or academically superior performance and meeting accountability requirements.

In total, 325 public and private schools across the US and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education earned the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools designation. 

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend this school and all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

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