Cheshire’s Norton Elementary School Named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School

Dr. Jeffrey Solan, Superintendent of Cheshire Public Schools, has announced that Cheshire’s Norton Elementary School has been named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. Dr. Solan stated, “We are so proud of Principal Kelly Grillo and the entire Norton team. This achievement would not have been possible without the hard work of caring and effective educators, supportive parents, and our talented, dedicated students who ultimately earned this well-deserved honor.” Ms. Grillo added, “At Norton School, it begins and ends with relationships. Strong bonds between teachers and students, with parents and the
community, and among our entire staff form the foundation. Passion, professionalism and a shared commitment to our mission fuel our growth and make Norton a happy place to work and learn.” Board of Education Chair, Tony Perugini shared, “We are excited that Norton has been recognized for this tremendous achievement. Our Board is committed to the continuous support of our schools and ensuring all students receive a high-quality academic experience.” The exclusive National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, students, families, and the community in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.

The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on
all student scores including subgroup performance:

  • 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
    in closing achievement gaps between school’s student groups and all students.

Norton School is being recognized for exemplary high performance. Cheshire Public Schools have collectively demonstrated significant growth over the past four years. Ranked as the 35th highest performing K-12 school system in Connecticut on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in 2016, the district currently ranks 5th. While other Cheshire schools such as Highland Elementary, Doolittle Elementary, Chapman Elementary, and Dodd Middle School have all shown considerable growth in that time, Norton has led the charge. Norton students performed among the best in Connecticut in both Reading and Math, but were first overall on the Connecticut Science Assessment. Norton Elementary and the other 367 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized at a virtual awards ceremony in mid-November. Norton is only one of four Connecticut schools to be so honored. As part of Norton’s recognition, the school will receive a plaque and flag to proudly display.

A brief description of all Blue Ribbon Schools can be found at

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