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USDE Blue Ribbon School Program Logo    Blue Ribbon Schools Program

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program was 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.

 

Blue Ribbon Spotlight

 

 

Piper Elementary School Piper Elementary School 

Piper-Kansas City USD 203

  • Dr. Blane McCann, Interim Superintendent
  • Bilee Jo Grable, Principal

Piper Elementary School, located on the western end of Wyandotte County, serves 686 students in kindergarten through third grade.

Principal Grable said "what contributed to our school being named an Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School for 2020 in Kansas was our commitment to creating a foundation of academic and social emotional success for all.  We pride ourselves in educating students and parents in the process through which children understand and manage emotions, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Our school connects with students from diverse backgrounds and serves students with different motivations for engaging learning, behaving positively, and performing academically.  We believe that social emotional learning provides a foundation for safe and positive learning and enhances each student’s ability to succeed in school, community, and life.
Unique to our student learning and success is the investment we take in adult learning and the common purpose for working together. We accept learning as the fundamental purpose of our school and, therefore, are willing to examine all practices for their impact on learning.  We are invested in the ideas, curiosity, and wonder of others.  Individuals and teams seek relevant data and information to promote continuous growth, gauging our effectiveness on the basis of results rather than intentions.. We are hard on ideas but soft on people.  At Piper Elementary our work is centered around students’ social emotional well being and fostering behaviors and attitudes that create a welcoming and positive environment for all. With a positive attitude towards school, students have a reason to want to be at school because they have something special to offer to our building. Our students are at the center of everything we do in Piper! We are a uniquely powerful community of individuals"

Our work is love made visible. ~ Kahil Gibran

 

General Omar Bradley Elementary School General Omar Bradley Elementary School

Fort Leeavenworth USD 207

  • Dr. Keith Mispagel, Superintendent
  • Mike Burrow, Principal

Bradley Elementary School, located in Fort Leavenworth, serves 409 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade

Superintendent Dr. Mispagel stated the following when asked what contributed to Bradley Elementary being named a 2020 Blue Ribbon School: Bradley Elementary Staff have a laser sharp focus on student achievement and individual growth.  Their actions epitomize the phrase “All children can learn” and they make sure this stands true and at high levels.  The school community also has a strong support for the value of education of our future leaders that are our students.  The parents, staff and administration partner together to provide a well-rounded education focusing on academic achievement and social emotional growth.

"This is a great honor for Bradley Elementary to receive this nomination and selection as a Blue Ribbon School in Kansas as an Exemplary High Performing School.  Bradley Elementary experiences an average annual turnover of the student body averaging 50% student change.  With an average annual turnover of 50% in the students, it is critical for the staff to assess, remediate, enrich, and differentiate for all the Bradley students.  The individualization necessary in a highly mobile military connected student population is critical because the students in Fort Leavenworth School District come from all across the country and world annually.  Knowing this and working to help students achieve at their highest levels, makes this a very special award for Bradley Elementary Staff and Students. "

 

Prairie Creek Elementary School Student in the classroom at Corinth Elementary

Spring Hill USD 230

  • Dr. Wayne Burke, Superintendent
  • Jody M. Cole, Principal

Prairie Creek Elementary School, located in Olathe, serves 439 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

At Prairie Creek, we recognize the role of school as the place to prepare children for a fulfilling life in which they contribute their unique skills, values, and passions to the broader community. As such, we’ve designed a number of curricula that incorporate the intersection of non-negotiable twenty-first century STEAM skills with the support and tools of career-readiness programs. Prairie Creek’s Career Steam Investigation Studio (CSI) is one of the most valuable resources available to our students of today.
Given the speed, complexity, and demands of the modern world, we believe it’s no longer enough to speak about the future careers of our students in vague terms or hypotheticals. This is especially true as industries and professions evolve in response to the ever-changing needs of our global community. Instead, we know it’s our responsibility to engage students at Prairie Creek in meaningful conversations, hands-on skill-building exercises, and perhaps most importantly, the chance to investigate and explore their own interests then apply what they know about science, technology, engineering, art, and math to real-world scenarios.
We take pride in nurturing the socio-emotional wellbeing of our students and in providing an exceptional learning experience in all our classrooms day-to-day, but we’re keenly aware that in order to fulfill Prairie Creek’s mission, we must provide an education that enriches the lives of our students not just now, but long into the future. We believe the CSI studio helps us achieve that vision.

 

"We know it’s our responsibility to engage students at Prairie Creek in meaningful conversations, hands-on skill-building exercises, and perhaps most importantly, the chance to investigate and explore their own interests then apply what they know about science, technology, engineering, art, and math to real-world scenarios.." 

 

Timmerman Elementary SchoolTimmerman Elementary Classroom setting

Emporia USD 253

  • Kevin Case, Superintendent
  • Allyson Lyman, Principal

Timmerman Elementary School, located in Emporia, serves 336 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

When asked what contibuted to Timmerman being name a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School, Lyman said, it is exciting to see that the extra hours, professional development time, and our teachers’ commitment to our students is making a significant difference in our students' academic success.”  Principal, Ms. Allyson Lyman added, “Over the last few years, there has been a strong emphasis on rigor and relevance through real-world experiences as well as project-based learning here at Timmerman.  Our focus on student engagement and relationships has created an atmosphere that challenges, motivates, and heightens student enjoyment related to learning.  In addition, our staff members work to provide data-driven differentiated learning opportunities for students based on interest and readiness to ensure individual students' needs are being met consistently,”

 “We are humbled and honored to receive this recognition based on our high level of student achievement which has increased in recent years.  It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our staff and students,” Ms. Allyson Lyman, Timmerman Principal. 

 

Bostic Traditional Magnet Elementary SchoolBostic Traditional Magnet front entrance

Wichita USD 259

  • Dr. Alicia Thompson, Superintendent
  • Jared Grover, Principal

Bostic Traditional Magnet Elementary School, located in Wichita, serves 270 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Bostic Traditional Magnet is successful because of the way we utilize data to guide our instructional practice.  Our teachers believe that data reveals the potential of every student regardless of their current achievement level.  As the school year begins, initial steps are taken to gather data using quick assessments that occur multiple times throughout year to determine if a student has missing skills or advanced understanding of concepts.  This information guides the instructional focus while teachers continue to monitor student progress through classroom assignments.  Since Bostic teachers utilize data throughout the year, teachers are better equipped to plan and instruct for student success..

"Since Bostic teachers utilize data throughout the year, teachers are better equipped to plan and instruct for student success."


 

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School

Wichita Catholic Diocese

  • Janet Eaton, Superintendent
  • Mary Sweet, Principal at time of nomination
  • Stephanie Warren, Principal

Holy Rosary - Wae Catholic School, located in Wichita, serves 497 students in pre-K through eighth grade.

Principal Warren said "we are honored to be recognized as a 2020 Blue Ribbon School. At St. Thomas Aquinas, we are a community that educates the whole student. We strive for academic excellence while providing a faith filled environment for our students. We build community with our students through our Community Family Days, celebration of the Sacraments, and parental involvement. We strive for academic excellence by holding our students to high academic standards and ensuring students are challenged by providing the opportunity to take advanced math and literature classes. Project Based Learning is apparent through our St. Isidore Garden in which students grow healthy foods that we then serve in our cafeteria. Our 8th grade Culminating Project encompasses all students have learned, as students research topics, write papers, and must present the topic through a speech and art project. We view each of our students as an individual and work to find the best ways to make our students successful"

"We strive for academic excellence while providing a faith filled environment for our students."

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

List of Blue Ribbon Schools

2020
2019
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 
 
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