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Spanish Immersion named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School

Principal Gabe Costa looks on during a classroom session at the Spanish Immersion School.

      Mansfield City Schools’ Spanish Immersion School, which had its fledgling start with 11 kindergarten students a decade ago, today was named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School. 

      U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made the announcement to Principal Gabe Costa and the principals of 348 other schools across the country in a video message this afternoon.

      “I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” DeVos said. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”

      The Blue Ribbon recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Spanish Immersion, a free public schools, received A’s in both of those areas on the 2018 Ohio Department of Education (ODE) report card.

      “This is a well-deserved honor for the Spanish Immersion School,” Superintendent Brian Garverick said. “It recognizes the hard work of Jody Nash, the first principal, and Gabe Costa, who succeeded her in that role in 2015, as well as the dedication of the school’s outstanding staff, students and parents.

      “The board of education and I join in congratulating Spanish Immersion for achieving this national honor.”

      From that first kindergarten class in 2008 the school, located in the former Brinkerhoff building at 240 Euclid Ave., has grown to an enrollment of 251 in kindergarten through eighth grade.

      Spanish Immersion’s performance on the 2018 state report card ranks it 65th among 3,344 Ohio schools at all levels (primary and secondary), according to ODE data.

      Costa has often attributed the school’s success to a trio of factors – the “three-legged stool” – as he calls it.

      “We have outstanding teacher and staff instruction, a high level of student focus and an exceptional level of parent involvement,” he said.

      Recognized by Spain as an International Spanish Academy, Spanish Immersion School was designated as an Ohio School of Promise in 2014 and 2015, a National Title I Distinguished School in 2016 and an Ohio High Performing School of Honor in 2017.

      In 2016 the Ohio School Boards Association recognized Spanish Immersion School as an outstanding program during OSBA’s Student Achievement Fair.

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