Brentwood Elementary Selected As National Blue Ribbon School

Today, US Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced that Brentwood Elementary is one of 10 schools in Indiana and 297 schools in the United States to receive the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award. 

“I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. This award is presented to schools who show consistent growth and achievement without exception. Brentwood Elementary School first opened its doors in 1963 and while it remains the smallest of five elementary schools in the district, it serves a wide socio-economic community. We place a strong emphasis on improving student achievement and social well-being. Over the last 59 years, the building has adapted and expanded to fit the needs of the students and staff, but the essence of the school has remained unchanged. We are known for our welcoming and inclusive environment.

At Brentwood Elementary School, we focus on the whole child and strive to help students understand their greater purpose in the community and the importance of giving back to others. Whether it’s through our community of values that we exemplify daily, or through lessons, modeling, visuals, announcements, and recognition of students, these values allow us to center on the importance of character building and hard work.

Principal Julie Zmijewski couldn’t be prouder of every person at Brentwood, "I am blown away daily by the hard work and dedication of every staff member at Brentwood. It is truly a pleasure to be surrounded by individuals that pull together and come to school with the mindset that every child matters."

Brentwood teachers are mindful of learning styles and specific needs of students when planning lessons. The goal is for all students to get to the same positive outcomes regardless of where they started or what unique challenges they might experience. The staff and school community make a concerted effort to focus our classroom instruction and additional resources to support students that need an extra push to grasp grade-level material. 

Brentwood’s academic success is rooted in small group instruction that is highly driven by data. Teachers, instructional assistants, and parent volunteers can be seen working with groups of students throughout our building to reinforce skills and provide more individualized feedback. Our scheduled intervention times are highly protected and embraced as a way for our efforts to be focused on bettering student learning.

We have implemented many programs and techniques to excite students and encourage their success. Our school’s mission, “Bringing Joy to Learning”, can be seen through our increased science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) opportunities for our students. School-wide literacy activities, such as One School, One Book and various reading reward celebrations are also ways to ignite student interest in literature. 

“This accomplishment is well-earned for the staff and students at Brentwood. They demonstrate all of the requirements for this prestigious award, and we’re so proud of all that they do and how they represent Plainfield Schools,” said superintendent Scott Olinger.

Brentwood Elementary is thrilled to be honored as a 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award Recipient. This is an enormous honor and achievement which we take great pride in.