Hundreds of Fox Tech High School students and teachers filled the streets of downtown San Antonio on their way to City Hall, but they were not protesting, they were celebrating.
"We've been a most improved school because they've seen upward trends in all of our data," said Fox Tech principal Dawn Parker.
Fox Tech has received Blue Ribbon status for Exemplary Improving Schools. They are one of only four schools in Texas to get the distinction in the Improving Schools category that had only 36 other schools in the country. The award recognizes schools that have achieved continued success year after year.
Parker said it has taken Fox Tech five years to improve in academics and attendance.
Prior to 2007, San Antonio ISD officials said the school met federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) standards in 2006, but did not meet the benchmarks from 2003 to 2005. Therefore, as required, the school had to allow students to transfer to other schools.
The prestigious award is a relief for a principal who has struggled to get the school back on track.
"It takes a lot of work, hard work behind the scenes but our kids are performing well on every academic level that you can look at: math, science, attendance, and we're just excited that we're doing so well," said Parker.
Fox Tech is a magnet school for medical science, as well as law and public policy.
District 1 Councilman Diego Bernal read a proclamation at the steps of City Hall in honor of the students' achievement. He told them the city is proud of them, and that this is helping eliminate stereotypes about inner-city schools.
Representatives of the Blue Ribbon award will attend a ceremony in Washington, D.C. this month for their recognition.
Additional Information on the Blue Ribbon Awards: