Coloma Elementary named a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School


On September 21st, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized Coloma Elementary School as one of 325 schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021. Coloma is an elementary school in the Westfield School District.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip, while visiting an awardee school, Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School, in Palatine, Illinois.

A profile of Coloma Elementary published by the program states as follows:

Coloma Elementary School

Coloma Elementary School is a public elementary school located in central Wisconsin serving students in four-year kindergarten through sixth grade. Coloma is a small community that is historically made up of working-class families with strong roots in farming. Our community has instilled these strong values onto the students that attend Coloma Elementary. 

Maintaining a strong connection with the families at Coloma Elementary is the way we continue to develop and grow students to meet their full potential. By forming a strong bond between students, parents, and staff we are able to form a deeper understanding of the expectations both academically and socially at Coloma Elementary. As a school we had to focus on diversifying our communication methods to help reach all of our families. Whether it be through phone calls, texting, emails, or video conferences our goal has always been to maintain the strong level of support we receive from our families. 

Staff members at Coloma Elementary focus on continuing to build relationships with our students and families. As a school, we focus on providing the necessary support that students need both in and out of the classroom. The staff has always taken great pride in helping to meet the social emotional needs of all our students, while also providing a strong academic learning environment. By continuing to foster these relationships with our students we are able to recognize their successes and the efforts within the classroom both academically and socially.

Coloma had an enrollment last year of 118 students and is led by Principal Chase Gildenzoph.

Other Wisconsin schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:

• De Pere – Foxview Intermediate School, De Pere School District.

• Drummond – Drummond Elementary School, Drummond Area School District.

• Franklin – Robinwood Elementary School, Franklin Public School District.

• Hatley – Hatley Elementary School, D C Everest Area School District.

• Hudson – River Crest Elementary School, Hudson School District.

• Milwaukee – Marquette University High School, Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

• Platteville – Westview Elementary School, Platteville School District.

• Racine – Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School, Racine Unified School District.

“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 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.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

• Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

• Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students. This is the category that Coloma in which Coloma Elementary was placed.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.