U.S. announces 329 National Blue Ribbon schools

U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today announced the 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

Illinois, 21 schools including five private schools
  1. Alan B. Shepard Middle School
    Deerfield (Deerfield Public Schools District 109)
  2. Countryside Elementary School
    Barrington (Barrington Community Unit School District 220)
  3. Damiansville Elementary School
    Damiansville (Damiansville Elementary School District 62)
  4. Daniel Wright Junior High School
    Lincolnshire (Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103)
  5. Earl Pritchett School
    Buffalo Grove (Aptakisic-Tripp Community Consolidated School District 102)
  6. Eisenhower Academy
    Joliet (Joliet District 86)
  7. Grove Avenue Elementary School
    Barrington (Barrington Community Unit School District 220)
  8. Half Day School
    Lincolnshire (Lincolnshire-Prairie View District 103)
  9. Kennedy Junior High School
    Lisle (Naperville Community Unit School District 203)
  10. Monroe Elementary School
    Hinsdale (Community Consolidated School District 181)
  11. Oak Grove School
    Green Oaks (Oak Grove School District 68)
  12. Sager Solomon Schechter Day School (Non-Public)
    Northbrook (an independent school)
  13. Saint Anne Parish School (Non-Public)
    Barrington (Archdiocese of Chicago)
  14. St. Daniel the Prophet School (Non-Public)
    Chicago (Archdiocese of Chicago)
  15. Saint Juliana School (Non-Public)
    Chicago (Archdiocese of Chicago)
  16. St. Paul Lutheran School (Non-Public)
    Mt Prospect (Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, Northern Illinois District)
  17. Skinner North Elementary School
    Chicago (Chicago Public Schools)
  18. Tripp Elementary School
    Buffalo Grove (Aptakisic-Tripp Community Consolidated School District 102)
  19. Tri-Valley Elementary School
    Downs (Tri-Valley Community Unit School District 3)
  20. Walden Elementary School
    Deerfield (Deerfield Public Schools District 109)
  21. Woodlawn Middle School
    Long Grove (Kildeer Countryside School District 96)
Maryland, 10 schools including four private schools
  1. Arnold Elementary School
    Arnold (Anne Arundel County Public Schools)
  2. George Washington Carver Center for Arts and Technology
    Towson (Baltimore County Public Schools)
  3. Hereford High School
    Parkton (Baltimore County Public Schools)
  4. North Harford Elementary School
    Pylesville (Harford County Public Schools)
  5. Our Lady of Perpetual Help School (Non-Public)
    Ellicott City (Archdiocese of Baltimore)
  6. Pasadena Elementary School
    Pasadena (Anne Arundel County Public Schools)
  7. Saint Joseph School, Fullerton (Non-Public)
    Baltimore (Archdiocese of Baltimore)
  8. Saint Patrick’s Catholic School (Non-Public)
    Rockville (Archdiocese of Washington)
  9. Saint Pius X Regional School (Non-Public)
    Bowie (Archdiocese of Washington)
  10. White Marsh Elementary School
    Mechanicsville (St. Mary’s County Public Schools)

The Baltimore Sun noted this achievement and provided soundbite quotes from a few of the principals at the schools.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers,” Mr King said in a video message to honorees. “Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The 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 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools. On November 7 and 8, which is Election Day, the Education Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

The department 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. A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated each year.