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Hall-Kent Named a National Blue Ribbon School


September 21, 2021 - Today was an exciting day for Homewood as Hall-Kent Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education - a prestigious award that exemplifies excellence in education.


Only five schools in Alabama were named 2021 Blue Ribbon Schools, and Hall-Kent is one out of 325 schools in the nation to receive this award. Since it began in 1982, Alabama has had 47 schools receive this honor.


“This is a huge honor for our faculty and staff, students, parents, and school community. This award represents the tremendous work our teachers and staff pour into their students everyday,” Hall-Kent Principal Kiana Coleman said. “This award would not have been possible without the support of our parents, local school board, and community partners. 


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.


Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021. “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 this school and 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.”


National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. Successful applications, posted on the NBRS website, detail key elements of successful schools, from individualized student supports, intentional instruction, collaborative cultures, and targeted curricula.


HCS Superintendent Dr. Justin Hefner said this announcement is something that everyone in Homewood should celebrate. “Hall-Kent’s national recognition for excellence is something we should all be proud of as this honor is a testament to our community’s support and dedication to education.”


“Hall-Kent’s faculty and staff work each day to provide the highest quality of education while ensuring our students feel loved, supported, and encouraged. Homewood could not be prouder of Hall-Kent,” Hefner said. 


More About Hall-Kent Elementary School:

Hall-Kent Elementary is a student-centered school enriched by tradition, vision, and a compassionate spirit. Established in 1887, the school has served children in the Homewood community for over 100 years. Our student enrollment has rapidly increased from 400 to over 600 students in preschool through fifth grade over the past 10 years.


A diverse school culture helps to enhance student learning, tolerance, and appreciation of cultural differences. Our vision is an inclusive school of learners who embrace a growth mindset; Teachers who are dedicated and invested in students; A joyful learning environment utilizing innovative and best instructional practices. Hall-Kent holds students to high expectations and provides academic, behavioral, and social support as students strive to achieve those expectations. As we strive to help students meet their unique potential, personalized learning is a vital component of our instructional program. The teachers rely on differentiation, intervention, and acceleration to meet the needs of all students. 


Hall-Kent Elementary School uses the Patriot Pride framework to establish school-wide expectations for all students. Students show Junior Patriot Pride by being respectful, being responsible, and being safe. In 2019, Hall-Kent Elementary School adopted the Junior Patriot Pride House System, a student advocacy program. Every student, instructor, and staff member at Hall-Kent is a part of the house system. This model helps promote stable relationships, provides a sense of belonging for all students beyond the classroom walls, and establishes positive connections between students and teachers. Hall-Kent has a special faculty member, Maize. She serves as the school’s facility dog and helps to cultivate a positive learning environment.