Olive Branch middle school receives nationwide recognition

Olive Branch middle school receives nationwide recognition

OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) - One DeSoto County middle school has been awarded the top honor from the U.S. Department of Education.

Center Hill Middle School in Olive Branch was recently named a Blue Ribbon School!

A lot of math problems are solved in the classrooms of Center Hill.

After receiving the U.S. Department of Education's National Blue Ribbon recognition, educators and students are crunching some new numbers.

“The stat that I think is the most impressive is there are about 130,000 schools [in the nation] so to achieve this they are in the top 0.3 percent in the nation,” said Mississippi Superintendent of Education Carey Wright.

Center Hill is one of three schools in Mississippi to be given the honor and the only middle school of the group.

In the entire nation, fewer than 350 schools were given Blue Ribbon recognitions this year.

“It's a lot of data,” Wright said. “It's a lot of trend data. They're looking at how well the children are doing in proficiency rates. They're looking at other subgroups, if achievement gaps have been narrowed.”

Center Hill Middle School placed third in both math and reading proficiency in the state and first in reading growth.

Wright was in Olive Branch on Friday to celebrate the recognition.

While the U.S. Department of Education credits the honor to academic excellence, Desoto County Schools Superintendent Cory Uselton credits the people behind the school.

“I would attribute a lot of it to the parental support here, and the team work between the teachers and the community,” Uselton said.

Mississippi’s largest school district has one other Blue Ribbon recognition. Center Hill Elementary School also received one in 2009.

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