Hometown schools given national Blue Ribbon classification

National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
National Blue Ribbon Schools Program(Courtesy National Blue Ribbon Schools Program Facebook Page)
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 2:32 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ) - The U.S. Department of Education has recognized 353 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023, including 10 schools in Virginia. The recognition is based on each school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups on assessments, according to DOE.

The Virginia schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools are:

  • Arlington – Williamsburg Middle School, Arlington County Public Schools.
  • Blairs – Southside Elementary School, Pittsylvania County Schools.
  • Charlottesville – Charlottesville Catholic School, Diocese of Richmond.
  • Chatham – Union Hall Elementary School, Pittsylvania County Schools.
  • Chesapeake – Edwin W Chittum Elementary School, Chesapeake City Public Schools.
  • Falls Church – Trinity School At Meadow View, Trinity.
  • Fancy Gap – Fancy Gap Elementary School, Carroll County Public Schools.
  • Nokesville – Kettle Run High School, Fauquier County Public Schools.
  • Pound – J.W. Adams Combined School, Wise County Public Schools.
  • Virginia Beach – Saint Gregory The Great Catholic School, Diocese of Richmond.

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. As the Biden-Harris Administration partners with states and schools to accelerate academic success and transform educational opportunity in this country, we take tremendous pride in the achievements of these schools and their commitment to empowering educators, serving students, and engaging families.”

A statement from DOE says, “While awardee schools represent the diverse fabric of American schools, they also share some core elements. National Blue Ribbon School leaders articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards. They demonstrate effective and innovative teaching and learning, and the schools value and support teachers and staff through meaningful professional learning. Data from many sources are used to drive instruction and every student strives for success. Families, communities, and educators work together toward common goals.”

DOE continues, “National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. A National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing a school’s entryway or on a flagpole is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”

The Department recognizes each school in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among each state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among states’ highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students. Nominated schools also complete an extensive narrative application describing schools’ cultures and philosophies, curricula, assessments, instructional practices, professional development, leadership structures, and parent and community involvement.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award from the top education officials in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.