TOPEKA — Six Kansas schools have been designated 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced Thursday, Sept. 24.
Among schools recognized was Bradley Elementary School, Fort Leavenworth USD 207.
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.
There were 367 schools across the country (317 public and 50 nonpublic) designated as 2020 National Blue Ribbon schools, including the six in Kansas.
Kansas schools that received the designation also included Piper Elementary School, Piper-Kansas City Unified School District 203; Prairie Creek Elementary School, Spring Hill USD 230; Timmerman Elementary School, Emporia USD 253; Bostic Traditional Magnet Elementary School, Wichita USD 259; and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Wichita Catholic Diocese.
The Blue Ribbon program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students.
In the high-performing category, schools are recognized for being among the state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
All Kansas schools were recognized in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category.
Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program has bestowed nearly 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards.
The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. Up to 420 public and private schools may be nominated each year.
The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be recognized at a virtual ceremony Nov. 12-13.