Voy Spears Jr. Elementary School is a Gold Star School, recognized by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The department says the program recognizes schools that perform at high academic levels or that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students.
Voy Spears Jr. and the state’s seven other Gold Star schools performed in the top 15 percent of all schools in Missouri, based on scores from the Missouri Assessment Program in language arts and mathematics.
Voy Spears Jr. is at 201 N.E. Anderson Drive in northern Lee’s Summit; it’s part of the Blue Springs School District. The announcement came after the last day of the school year for students.
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“We’re very excited,” said Principal Renee Murray. She said the school was honored for high academic achievement.
“Our success is based on great teamwork between parents, teachers and students,” Murray said. “Our parents are really dedicated to education and our staff makes learning fun and they build close relationships with families and students. Our students like coming to school.”
Murray said that state education department invited Voy Spears Jr. to apply for the award based on its academics. The school completed the application with comments from teachers and parents, she said.
Murray said she intends to plan a celebration for the school in August when students return.
The Gold Star Schools program was established by the Department in 1991 and aligns with the national Blue Ribbon Schools program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education. The Gold Star Schools program uses the same nomination criteria as Blue Ribbon Schools program. Recipients of the state’s award are nominated for national Blue Ribbon recognition, which are to be announced in the fall by the U.S. Department of Education.
The other Missouri winners are: Atlanta Elementary, Atlanta C-3 School District; Chesterfield Elementary, Rockwood R-VI School District; Fox Hill Elementary, North Kansas City 74 School District; Mallinckrodt A.B.I. Elementary, St. Louis City School District; Mark Twain Elementary, Brentwood School District; Rock Port Elementary, Rock Port R-II School District; and University Academy-Upper School, University Academy.
“Congratulations to the students, faculty and staff at these eight schools for earning this recognition,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Their hard work reflects Missouri’s continuing effort to prepare all students for success in school and after graduation.”