A two-time winner of the Georgia School of Excellence distinction (2010 and 2004), Crabapple Crossing had made becoming a national winner its goal by 2013. But to be recognized with the honor a year sooner than anticipated surprised even its principal.
“As a school, we’re so excited and truly honored,” said Crabapple Crossing Principal George Freiberger. “Everything starts with teachers and students in the classroom, and it shows in the performance of the kids. Ultimately, having a dedicated staff, empowered students, active parents, and a supportive community contributed to our success. It’s incredible to be recognized on the national level.
Freiberger also credits the school’s “Team Time” for creating a culture of connection and excellence. Three years ago, Crabapple Crossing began starting the school day with 15-minute classroom meetings where students and teachers could connect on a different level.
“It’s important for teachers to connect with students, to show them that they care before expecting them to perform well,” he said. “This really changed the culture of our school in such a way that it blended teamwork between students and teachers, parents, and the administration.”
“Crabapple Crossing embodies the Fulton County Schools motto, ‘Where Students Come First,’” said Superintendent Robert Avossa. “Everything they do focuses on how to help students be successful and become engaged in their learning. Being named a National Blue Ribbon School is an honor for them and also for the Fulton County School System.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement.
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.
Crabapple Crossing Elementary will be honored at a recognition ceremony during Nov. 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C.