Several Greater Cincinnati schools are among the best of the best this year.
On Sept. 21, The U.S. Department of Education released its 2021 list of National Blue Ribbon Schools, and four familiar names are on it.
Mariemont Junior High School in Mariemont, Montgomery Elementary School in Montgomery, Saint Henry District High School in Erlanger and Blessed Sacrament Elementary School in Fort Mitchell all make the cut. In total, there are 16 Ohio schools and seven Kentucky schools on the education department's list of 325 Blue Ribbon schools around the country.
The department recognizes schools each year for their academic prowess or their improvement. From an emailed release:
The Department recognizes all schools 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 student groups and all students.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools 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. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.
"This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish," U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona says in a release. "I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children."
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has given approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools over 39 years, a release says.
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