Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided by Amy Payne & Pleasant View Elementary
Principal Stacy Smith says the Pleasant View Elementary staff and student body were all extremely excited when they were announced as a recipient.
“The acknowledgment that comes from this type of award brings about feelings of honor and pride,” Smith says. “The Pleasant View staff feels affirmed for their hard work and innovation on behalf of youth and extremely grateful to be recognized nationally.”
The award is given out by The U.S. Department of Education to high performing schools and is part of the department’s effort to identify and review different school leadership programs and teaching practices across the nation.
Pleasant View was one of only 342 schools across the entire country to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School.
“We all recognize that being designated as a National Blue Ribbon School was based on a shared effort from the entire PVE staff, student body, families and community members – both past and present,” Smith says. “We are aware that only by working together over the years were we able to achieve this national recognition.”
Smith noted that to earn the award, “We received our National Blue Ribbon award in the exemplary high performing school category.”
Pleasant View tested in the top 15 percent of all state schools in both reading or an exemplary achievement gap closing school. That means they had to test in the best 15 percent of all state schools in both reading and math, based on its progress in closing achievements gaps over the past five years.
There are 815 students at Pleasant View Elementary.
“A national academic recognition brings positive attention to the community and may attract families who are locating to the Indianapolis area,” Smith says.
David Barrett, Cincinnati, and his family are a perfect example.
“We are planning to move to the Indianapolis area next summer, and my wife and I are looking at different high-quality schools that would meet our children’s academic needs,” Barrett says. “A Blue Ribbon school like Pleasant View makes it a strong contender if it fits in with our commutes to work. I have heard they have excellent teachers.”
Smith credits Pleasant View’s strong staff as a key part of the school’s success.
“For many years, our staff goals have been focused on individual students’ growth through use of formative assessments that help teachers calibrate instruction to maximize their time with students at each grade level,” Smith says. “The PVE staff engages students in meaningful educational tasks that promote collaboration, thinking, reasoning and creating. In addition to the core curriculum, through the Strong In Every Way (SIEW) initiative, the school also emphasizes the importance of building and maintaining strong support systems for both students and staff.”
Smith added that “student performance, the integration of STEM, and the innovation of our Genius Hour practices with students allowed the award committee to see our school as one performing at consistently high levels, while continuing to grow and lead in the ever-changing educational landscape.
“We are the largest elementary school and staff in Zionsville Community Schools,” she adds. “Pleasant View Elementary has a team approach to learning and growing. We work together in pursuit of excellence. The entire PVE family is excited and proud of this achievement.”