Midlo earns National Blue Ribbon School distinction

National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

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During an early morning meeting before school on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at Midlothian High School, faculty and staff entered the Midlo Theatre for a seemingly big news event, since an excited spectacle of cameras, balloons, and dignitaries greeted them.

Dr. Javaid Siddiqi proudly announced to the faculty that Midlothian High School has received the extraordinary distinction of 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. Midlothian Principal Dr. Shawn Abel added that Midlo is the only public high school in Virginia to receive this recognition this year.

Midlo female a capella group, Pitch Perfect added to the festive atmosphere with a lively, personalized rendition of “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman that had teachers swaying, clapping, and even, in some cases, using their cell phone flashlights to participate in the celebration.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Programs accepts nominations and applications from both public and private schools each year, and receiving the distinction remains one of education’s highest honors. According to the U. S. Department of Education website, “The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing an entry or flying overhead is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”

The extensive application process includes twenty multi-paragraph response questions asking schools to reflect on students’ success during and after school. Focus areas include math and English. The Department of Education only considers the top 15% of schools who achieve in those areas. Midlo principal Dr. Shawn Abel explains, “There is amazing instruction going on in the classroom, teachers that build really strong relationships with students on a personal level so they can then reach out, support and help them wherever they can.”

After congratulations, the faculty enjoyed a light breakfast and later feasted on Blue Ribbon School cake, which tasted even sweeter than usual in light of the school’s newest achievement. Midlo’s Community of Excellence reached an entirely new stage with this momentous announcement.