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'When a community wraps its arms around a school': Rosa Parks wins coveted 'Blue Ribbon'

Josh James

Rosa Parks Elementary School is the only Fayette county school to receive the prestigious "Blue Ribbon" national ranking this year.

Rosa Parks students showed off some of the hard work that earned their school the coveted status Monday afternoon. The elementary school is one of just a handful of Kentucky schools to earn the designation in year two of the pandemic.

Blue Ribbon schools are recognized based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps. But during a visit to Rosa Parks, Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said getting there takes more than a focus on test scores.

"Even though this is an academic award, it is built on the foundation of the relationships that this school building has built with its students and its community and its families," she said, after touring two classes.

Kentucky improved its Blue Ribbon numbers over last year, going from five to seven schools.

That's out of 325 nominated across the country.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.