Four Kansas elementary schools have been designated 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools, U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona announced Tuesday, Sept. 19.
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 students, educators, families and communities in in striving for – and attaining – exemplary achievement, according to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C.
There were 353 schools across the country designated as 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools, including the four in Kansas.
Kansas schools that received the designation are Valley Heights Elementary School, Valley Heights Unified School District 498; Lakeside Elementary School, Waconda USD 272; Edgerton Elementary School, Gardner Edgerton USD 231; and Roesland Elementary School, Shawnee Mission USD 512.
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. Schools are recognized on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.
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.
Schools nominated for the Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools must complete an extensive narrative application describing their school culture, philosophy, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, professional development, leadership structures and parent and community involvement.
In the Exemplary 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 40th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has presented about 10,000 awards to more than 9,700 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards.
In Kansas, 145 (137 public and eight private schools) have been designated as National Blue Ribbon Schools since the program’s inception in 1983.
This is the second time Valley Heights Elementary, Lakeside Elementary and Roesland Elementary schools have been designated National Blue Ribbon Schools.
Valley Heights Elementary School first received the designation in 2018.
Roesland Elementary School received its first designation in 1994. Shawnee Mission USD 512 has had 14 schools receive the designation since 1983.
Lakeside Elementary received the designation in 2010 as Lakeside Intermediate School.
This is the first time Edgerton Elementary School has received the National Blue Ribbon Schools designation. However, Gardner Edgerton USD 231 has had schools honored in 2011, 2016 and 2017.
The U.S. Department of Education invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education officials 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.
Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available here.
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