Today, the U.S. Department of Education named Festus Elementary School a National Blue Ribbon School. This is the third time since 1999 that Festus Elementary has earned the honor, a first for a Missouri school. “The National Blue Ribbon School Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence and their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” said Dr. Nicki Ruess, Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning. “Being recognized, once again, as a National Blue Ribbon School affirms the continuous hard work of our students, educators, families, and community.”
One criterion for eligibility for the Blue Ribbon Award is scoring in the top 15% within the state on Reading/ELA and Math state assessments. "Designation as a Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the daily, consistent approach that all staff members take to ensure that students are successful,” said Superintendent Dr. Link Luttrell. “High Student Achievement does NOT happen solely by chance but takes a myriad of stakeholders all working together towards accomplishing identified goals aimed at individual student success."
Last month, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education named Festus Elementary a Missouri Gold Star School. Being named a Gold Star School is often a precursor to being awarded the Blue Ribbon School designation. This is the third time Festus Elementary has been named a Gold Star/Blue Ribbon School. The previous two times were in 1999 and in 2014. “The Honor of being named a Missouri Gold Star School and a National Blue Ribbon School for the 3rd time is very humbling,” said principal Dr. Darin Siefert. “It is possible because of the tireless work of teachers, staff, and administrators to ensure that all students are succeeding at high levels, no matter their individual circumstances. It also would not be possible without the support of great parents, families, community members and most importantly the students themselves!”
Festus Elementary is the first school in the state of Missouri to be named a Blue Ribbon School three times. Luttrell adds, “It speaks volumes to what we already know – Festus Elementary School is a great place to learn!'
From March through most all summer, the US Department of Education (USDE) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) provided free meals to ANY student at no cost during the school closures across our nation. However, the federal ‘waivers’ providing the free meals expired recently.
Earlier this month, the USDA, which has oversight of the school breakfast and lunch programs, announced an indefinite extension of the waivers.
Extension of the waivers means that ALL breakfast and lunch meals will be FREE to ALL students regardless of income!!! Please encourage your child(ren) to participate. The program is temporary and will only last as long as funding allows. Therefore there will likely be a return to ‘paid’ meals in the future.
The free meals also applies to the food distribution for Festus Online students. If you would like to sign up for free meals for your Festus Online student you can do so by clicking here. Meals are being distributed from the Festus Elementary Upper Cafeteria parking lot from 10am-11am Monday thru Friday when school is in session.
If your child currently has an oustanding meal debt it will still need to be paid. A la carte items, extra food items or extra milk are not covered by the program. Students must have funds in their lunch accounts if they plan to purchase those particular items.
When the funding expires, we will have to resume charging for the meals. So, if you think you qualify for free or reduced priced meals, please go ahead and complete this year’s application so when the time arrives for us to once again charge for meals you will already be set up to receive free or reduced-price meals without interruption.