CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – Cedar Hill’s Bray Elementary is one of two North Texas schools to be awarded a Blue Ribbon from the U.S. Department of Education. It’s the highest national honor any school can receive.
The small elementary school prides itself on doing things the “Bray Way,” which includes integrating as many aspects of learning into every class.
Physical education is also an exercise of the brain for students in Ray Walther’s P.E. class. “I just reinforce what they are being taught in the classroom,” says Walther.
Meanwhile, active movement is a regular teaching tool for Bridgett Smith’s reading and language arts class for third graders.
Students and teachers alike say the “Bray Way” works.
“It’s a culture we ingrain on them on day one. We’re a family. There’s a bray way. We do it a certain way,” says Smith.
Hannah Chappelle, one of Bray’s 280 students, says she likes it because “you get good learning and everything is fun here.”
In addition to its small population, Bray boasts a high parent participation rate, with six of 10 actively involved in the PTA.
Michelle Hernandez is the mother of a Bray student. She volunteers at the school and explains why she is excited to send her child here. “It just makes us feel proud to be here because of what their goal is, what my goal is, to make my child educated academically.”
Bray’s Blue Ribbon status gives the school one more thing to brag about. The school was chosen for its consistent student achievement and top-level performance. Bray was honored in the early achievement category because no student is older than ten.
Townview Law Magnet in Dallas is the only other school in North Texas to receive this honor. Fewer than 300 schools received the award nationwide.
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