LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - Landing level 5 status for schools is not an easy achievement. But Long Beach Middle School has reached that goal every year. Now, all that hard work is paying off.
"We were very excited. We knew our middle school had been right there, and always had some of the higher test scores in the state. So we were very thrilled that they had been recognized for all their work," said Long Beach Superintendent Carrolyn Hamilton.
Long Beach Middle School found out this month that it has been nominated by the state Department of Education for the National Blue Ribbon Award.
"In education, it's the pinnacle of what you work for, to be one of the top schools in the state of Mississippi," said principal Mary Jean Harvey.
Schools are chosen based on their high test scores, student growth, and unique programs that help children who are struggling. Long Beach educators also credit dedicated teachers who track each child's progress and work one-on-one with students to help them succeed.
"I think it's very special," said teacher Mary Woodruff. "Long Beach is my heart and my home and the kids and the community just mean a lot to everybody. So I think it really spoke to me when we got the award and it made me just feel proud for the whole community in general."
In order to win the national award, the school must perform well on state tests in May and meet other tough requirements.
"There are always things we can improve on and even though we have gotten this nomination, which is really a tremendous honor, we know that we still have a lot of work to do," said Harvey.