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USDE Blue Ribbon School Program Logo    Blue Ribbon Schools Program

 The Blue Ribbon Schools Program established in 1982 to honor schools which have achieved high levels of performance or significant improvements with emphasis on schools serving disadvantaged students. The Blue Ribbon award is considered the highest honor an American school can achieve.  The first two years of the program only secondary schools were recognized, from 1983-2002 the program honored secondary and elementary schools in alternating years.

From 2003-2008 the program changed to the No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The program honors elementary and secondary schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap, recognizing those schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and have dramatically improved student performance to high levels in reading and mathematics.  The program also recognizes schools whose students achieve in the top 10 percent.  Schools are nominated, based on state assessments, in reading and math, by the Kansas Commissioner of Education and invited to apply by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

From 2009 to present the program changed back to the Blue Ribbon Schools Program. The program honors elementary and secondary schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap, recognizing those schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and have dramatically improved student performance to high levels in reading and mathematics.  The program also recognizes schools whose students achieve in the top 10 percent (in 2010 this changed to top 15%).  Schools are nominated, based on state assessments, in reading and math, by the Kansas Commissioner of Education and invited to apply by the U.S. Secretary of Education.

List of Blue Ribbon Schools

Blue Ribbon Spotlight

 

Students of Marion Elementary School Marion Elementary School 

Marion-Florence USD 408

  • Aaron Homburg, Superintendent
  • Justin Wasmuth, Principal

Marion Elementary School, located in Marion, serves 242 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Three things contributed to Marion Elementary being named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School, said principal Justin Wasmuth. The school uses data to help make critical student decisions, and there is regular collaboration between teachers, Wasmuth said. The school also prioritizes social-emotional guidance in each student.

“The mixture of these three have worked together to form a high-achieving school each day school is in session,” the principal said “We are humbled and honored to receive the designation of National Blue Ribbon School!”

 

Valley Heights Elementary SchoolValley Heights Elementary School

Blue Rapids USD 498

  • John Bergkamp, Superintendent
  • Robert E. Green, Principal

Valley Heights Elementary School, located in Blue Rapids, serves 140 students in third through fifth grades.

Valley Heights in 2014 was identified as an “On Watch” school because there were three consecutive years of declining state assessment scores, said principal Robert E. Green. The elementary school worked with the Kansas Learning Network to restructure its educational delivery process. A school improvement plan was developed, and areas in need of improvement were identified, Green said.

Reading was one area identified in need of improvement, so a new reading curriculum was researched and adopted. Also a commitment to teaching all core curriculum with fidelity and rigor was established, the principal said. The multi-tiered system of support process was initiated.

“MTSS meant a revision to the master schedule, implementation of reading and math intervention groups and strict compliance to the MTSS protocol,” Green said. “This included benchmark testing, progress monitoring and data review for all students throughout the school year.”
The school also made sure professional development was provided for all staff members and made a commitment to improving family and community engagement.

“The ‘On Watch’ status in 2014 was a wake-up call for our education community,” Green said. “The dedication and hard work of all stakeholders has turned Valley Heights Elementary at Blue Rapids from an ‘On Watch’ school to a National Blue Ribbon School.”

 

Lee Elementary SchoolLee Elementary School

Manhattan-Ogden USD 383

  • Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent
  • Mindy Sanders, Principal

Lee Elementary School, located in Manhattan, serves 500 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The school was designated a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School because of its continued hard work and determination, said principal Mindy Sanders.

“Lee Elementary School never gives up,” Sanders said. “The Lee School family works every day to provide our students with the tools necessary to lead successful lives. Our school has stood the test of time! We’ve been here for over 65 years. The students, staff, administrators, families and community members make Lee Elementary School the best place to be.”

 

Hillcrest Elementary SchoolHillcrest Elementary School

Lawrence USD 497

  • Dr. Anthony Lewis, Superintendent
  • Tammy Becker, Principal

Hillcrest Elementary School, located in Lawrence, serves 350 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

The school’s highly dedicated staff members who spend the time necessary to meet the academic, behavioral, social-emotional and physical needs of all students was a crucial part of the school receiving the designation, said principal Tammy Becker.

The school’s staff members collaborate regularly and work with students and school families to personalize learning in order to meet each student’s individual needs, Becker said.

“Our building has a shared leadership approach, where strong and forward-thinking teachers and support staff are willing to give the time to implement new initiatives that better support the whole child,” the principal said.

“We are proud and honored to represent the state of Kansas as a National Blue Ribbon School. We firmly believe in and work to support the Kansans Can vision – Kansas leads the world in the success of each student – as we work with our students to make decisions about their elementary education.”

 

Magdalen Catholic SchoolMagdalen Catholic School students and superintendent

  • Janet Eaton, Superintendent
  • Kristin Schmitz, Principal

Magdalen Catholic School, located in Wichita, serves 531 students in preschool through eighth grade.

The school is “highly mission driven,” said principal Kristin Schmitz. The school’s mission is “Developing Catholic students to become faithful stewards of God’s gifts.”

“As part of this, we have developed and sustained several resources to help our students be successful, no matter how they learn,” the principal said. “A strong Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) program, data progress monitoring, special education program, resource staff and intervention programs allow us to meet all children where they are.”

It was an extremely humbling and proud moment to accept the Blue Ribbon School Award in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the church and school communities, Schmitz said.

“As the largest ministry of our parish, this award is a true reflection of our church’s commitment to Catholic education and the spiritual and academic foundation of our children,” she said.
 

Sterling Grade SchoolSterling Grade School

Sterling USD 376

  • Jim Goracke, Superintendent
  • Brennan Riffel, Principal

Sterling Elementary School, located in Sterling, serves 287 students in pre-K through sixth grade.

Principal Brennan Riffel said it is hard to identify just one practice that makes Sterling Grade School successful.

“It is a combination of many great things – a strong dedication to student achievement, a highly qualified staff, consistent leadership, a kind and loving school environment and high academic expectations,” Riffel said.

However, if he had to identify one practice, it would be how the school utilizes classroom teachers and Title I teachers, Riffel said. Sterling Grade School is a Title 1 school that employs 2.5 Title I teachers that help provide additional intensive instructional support for students in reading and math.

The school has a student-to-teacher ratio of 19 to 1. However, by utilizing the Title I teachers whenever math or reading is being taught, the ratio drops to 9 to 1. When the school is able to incorporate a special education teacher within the classrooms to help with instruction, the ratio is reduced even more to about 6 to 1, the principal said. And when paraprofessionals and volunteers are utilized, the school is able to reduce the student-to-teacher ratio to as low as 2 to 1.

“By ensuring that small group instruction takes place with our reading and math classes, our students benefit from highly individualized instruction,” Riffel said. “This allows our teachers to better identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student and then make responsive adjustments in their instruction in order to specifically meet the learning needs of each student; both those that struggle and those that have high levels of achievement. These teachers work with students both inside and outside the regular classroom in literature groups, small math and reading groups, and provide after school tutorial assistance, as well. Our people, not programs, make the difference.” 

Questions about this program contact:
Tamla Miller
785-296-4950
tmiller@ksde.org

List of Blue Ribbon Schools

2018
  • Hillcrest Elementary School, USD 497 Lawrence 
  • Lee Elementary School, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden 
  • Magdalen Catholic School, Wichita Diocese 
  • Marion Elementary School, USD 408 Marion Florence 
  • Sterling Grade School, USD 376 Sterling 
  • Valley Heights Elementary School, USD 498 Valley Heights 
2017 
  • Eisenhower Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Gardner Elementary School, USD 231 Gardner Edgerton 
  • Ruth Clark Elementary School, USD 261 Haysville 
  • Sheridan Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Wineteer Elementary School, USD 260 Derby 
2016 
  • Challenger Intermediate School, USD 265 Goddard 
  • Chanute Elementary School, USD 413 Chanute 
  • McKinley Intermediate Elementary School, USD 435 Abilene 
  • Wheatridge Middle School, USD 231 Gardner Edgerton 
2015
  • Kansas did not participate 
2014
  • Marias Des Cygnes Valley Elementary School, USD 456 Marias Des Cygnes Valley 
  • Oatville Elementary School, USD 261 Haysville 
  • Ogden Elementary School, USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden 
  • St. Patrick Catholic School, Catholic Diocese of Wichita  
  • Valley Falls Elementary School, USD 338 Valley Falls  
  • West Bourbon Elementary School, USD 235 Uniontown 
2013 
  • Campus High School, USD 261 Haysville 
  • Chapman High School, USD 473 Chapman 
  • Mission Trail Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Oswego Neosho Heights Elementary School, USD 504 Oswego 
  • West Franklin High School, USD 287 West Franklin 
2012 
  • Basehor-Linwood High School, USD 458 Basehor-Linwood 
  • Blue Valley High School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Garden City High School, USD 457 Garden City 
  • Goddard High School, USD 265 Goddard 
  • Marshall Elementary School, USD 389 Eureka 
  • St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Overland Park 
2011 
  • Louisburg High, USD 416 Louisburg 
  • MacArthur Elementary School, USD 480 Liberal 
  • Oswego High School, USD 504 Oswego 
  • Sunflower Elementary School, USD 231 Gardner Edgerton 
  • Union Valley Elementary School, USD 313 Buhler 
2010
  • Franklin Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Garden Plain High School, USD 267 Renwick 
  • Lakeside Intermediate School, USD 272 Waconda 
  • St. George Elementary School, USD 323 Rock Creek 
  • Woodlawn Elementary School, USD 497 Lawrence 
2009
  • Broken Arrow Elementary School, USD 497 Lawrence 
  • Oakley Elementary School, USD 274 Oakley 
  • Phillipsburg Elementary School, USD 325 Phillipsburg 
  • Robinson Elementary School, USD 402 Augusta 
  • Rock Creek Jr./Sr. High School, USD 323 Rock Creek 
2008
  • Beeson Elementary School, USD 443 Dodge City 
  • Blue Valley North High School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Ellsworth Elementary School, USD 327 Ellsworth 
  • Lincoln Elementary School, USD 298 Lincoln 
  • Syracuse High School, USD 494 Syracuse 
2007
  • Morris Hill Elementary School, USD 475, Geary County 
  • Eisenhower Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Buckner Performing Arts Magnet, USD 259 Wichita 
  • Lincoln Elementary School, USD 431 Hoisington 
  • Herington Elementary School, USD 487 Herington 
2006
  • Eugene Ware Elementary School, USD 234, Ft. Scott 
  • Frances Willard Elementary School, USD 470, Arkansas City 
  • Westview Elementary School, USD 233, Olathe 
  • Garfield Elementary School, USD 402, Augusta 
  • Regency Place Elementary School, USD 233, Olathe 
2005
  • Roosevelt Elementary School, USD 418, McPherson 
  • IXL Elementary School, USD 470, Arkansas City 
  • Keith L. Ware Elementary School, USD 475, Geary County 
  • White Church Elementary School, USD 500, Kansas City 
  • Baxter Springs High School, USD 508, Baxter Springs 
2004
  • Stanley Elementary School, USD 229, Blue Valley 
  • Eisenhower Elementary School, USD 290, Ottawa 
  • Oakdale Elementary School, USD 305 Salina 
  • Sheridan Elementary School, USD 475, Geary County 
  • Jefferson Elementary School, USD 475, Geary County 
2003
  • Mill Creek Elementary School, USD 233, Olathe 
  • Ellinwood Elementary School, USD 355, Ellinwood 
  • Custer Hill Elementary School, USD 475, Geary County 
  • Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, USD 500, Kansas City 
2002
  • Custer Hill Elementary School, USD 475 Geary County 
  • Ellinwood Grade School, USD 355 Ellinwood 
  • Mill Creek Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, USD 500 Kansas City 
2001
  • Blue Valley Middle School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Bonner Springs High School, USD 204 Bonner Springs 
  • California Trail Jr High School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Mission Valley Middle School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Shawnee Mission Northwest High School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
2000 
  • Corinth Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Heatherstone Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Somerset Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • South Park Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
1999 
  • Frontier Trail Jr High School, USD 233 Olathe 
1998
  • Black Bob Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Harmony Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Horace Mann Elementary School, USD 259 Wichita 
  • Quail Run Elementary School, USD 497 Lawrence 
  • Obee Elementary School, USD 313 Buhler 
  • Valley Park Elementary School, USD 229 
1997
  • Olathe East High School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Shawnee Mission South High School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
1996 
  • Broken Arrow Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Central Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • O’Loughlin McCarty Elementary School, USD 489 Hays 
  • Walnut Grove Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
1995 
  • No program data 
1994-Secondary 
  • Mission Valley Middle School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
1993 
  • Belinder Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Cherokee Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Overland Trail Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Ridgeview Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Roesland Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Tomahawk Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
1992 
  • Oregon Trail Jr. High School, USD 233 Olathe 
1991 
  • Leawood Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Oak Hill Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Oxford Middle School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Countryside Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Indian Creek Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
1990 
  • Blue Valley North High School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Olathe South High School, USD 233 Olathe 
1989 
  • Valley Park Elementary School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Earhart Environmental Elementary School, USD 259 Wichita 
  • Brookridge Elementary School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Hocker Grove Middle School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
1988 
  • Blue Valley High School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Leawood Middle School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
  • Topeka High School, USD 501 Topeka 
1987 
  • Morse Elementary School, USD 229 Overland Park 
  • Northview Elementary School, USD 383 Manhattan 
1986 
  • Blue Valley Middle School, USD 229 Blue Valley 
1985 
  • Tomahawk Elementary School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Village Elementary School, USD 253 Emporia 
  • St. Mary Queen of the Universe, Salina 
1984 
  • Santa Fe Trail Jr High School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Salina South High School, USD 305 Salina 
  • Seaman High School, USD 345 Seaman 
  • Sumner Academy of Arts and Science, USD 500 Kansas City 
  • Robinson Middle School, USD 501 Topeka 
  • Meadowbrook Jr High School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
1983 
  • Oregon Trail Jr High School, USD 233 Olathe 
  • Horace Mann Dual Language Magnet, USD 259 Wichita 
  • Topeka West High School, USD 501 Topeka 
  • Shawnee Mission South High School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
  • Shawnee Mission West High School, USD 512 Shawnee Mission 
1982 
  • Kansas did not participate 
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