Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Henry Ford Early College and Haigh Elementary named National Blue Ribbon Schools

The U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School logo on a blue background.

The U.S. Department of Education named Henry Ford Early College (HFEC) and Haigh Elementary School in Dearborn National Blue Ribbon Schools. They are two of just 325 schools recognized nationally in 2021 as Blue Ribbon Schools.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school's building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program has bestowed more than 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. In the case of Dearborn Public Schools, the P-12 district has won a total of five.

Henry Ford Early College

HFEC is a partnership among HFC, Henry Ford Health System, and Dearborn Public Schools in coordination with Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency (RESA) and the Michigan Board of Education. This is a 5-year program in which students can simultaneously complete high school, earn college credits leading to an associate degree, and receive certification in an allied health profession.

Launched in 2007, HFEC is headquartered at HFC, which is the only remaining community college in Michigan to be affiliated with a P-12 district. HFEC was the first of four early middle college programs in the Dearborn Public Schools. Currently, HFEC has 240 students enrolled.

"At HFEC, we believe that with the right customized support and intervention, all students will and can succeed. Students enroll in a variety of health programs and are individually supported by a collaborative staff who live our vision of Students First," said HFEC Director Majed Fadlallah.

Haigh Elementary School

A neighborhood elementary school that teaches children in grades K-5, Haigh uses the Haigh Habits to help students develop independence and leadership skills for school and life outside the classroom. Haigh also uses positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) to teach and reward good behavior and student success. Currently, Haigh has 530 students enrolled.

"I am so excited for the Haigh staff, students, and community to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School! Our hard work as a team has allowed for student success both academically and socially," said Haigh Principal Zachary Short. "This is such a huge honor for Haigh, and I couldn't be prouder of everyone involved. We look forward to celebrating this massive accomplishment!"

Picking up the hardware in Washington, D.C.

Representatives from HFEC, as well as Haigh and Dearborn Public Schools, will receive the awards from the Department of Education in Washington, D.C. Nov. 4-5.

"This year's cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish," said U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona.

Cardona visited the HFC campus in June as part of President Biden’s COVID-19 College Challenge.

"I commend this and all of our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs,” said Cardona. “In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better."