What Does It Mean to Be a Blue Ribbon School?

girl working on homework with iPad

St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School was named a Blue Ribbon School in both 2010 and 2020. Receiving this award is a high honor, and we are proud to represent the values and excellence in academics that being a Blue Ribbon School comes with. However, not all parents are familiar with what it means to be a Blue Ribbon School.

In today’s blog, St. Cecelia explains the program’s history, how to qualify for it, and why being a Blue Ribbon School is important.

History of the Blue Ribbon School Program

The Blue Ribbon School Program was started in 1982 by Terrel H. Bell, a Secretary of Education under the Reagan Administration. The program was intended to highlight the best schools in the nation. These schools were to act as the standard for the best educational processes in the United States and were to facilitate the sharing of these practices to better the quality of all schools.

In the first 25 years from when the program was started, around 5200 schools were awarded a Blue Ribbon. Counting repeat schools, as of today over 10,000 schools have been awarded a Blue Ribbon. More than 130,000 schools are eligible for the award, so to be chosen twice is something that we consider a great honor.

Related Post: 3 Ways to Prevent Summer Learning Loss

How to be Named a Blue Ribbon School

To be eligible for nomination, a school must meet one of two criteria:

  • 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 subgroups and all students over the past five years.

Additionally, the school must be at least five years old and must not have received the award within the last five years. More broadly, the school should show excellence in academics, athletics, and the arts.

Importance of Being a Blue Ribbon School

According to the Department of Education, schools that receive the award are afforded more opportunities to share and highlight the processes that won them the award in the first place. The opportunity to share what makes St. Cecelia great is important to us, as we’re proud of not only our faculty but the excellence of our students. Educators at Blue Ribbon Schools can be selected to speak at state and regional conferences to share with others how best to invest in the success of their students.

As a testament to the academic performance of St. Cecelia School, our students scored in the top ten percent of the nation in reading and mathematics in the highest grade tested. There were seven public and private schools awarded in the state of Florida, St. Cecelia being one of the seven.

St. Cecelia in Clearwater, FL 

St. Cecelia Interparochial Catholic School prepares students to become lifelong learners that are knowledgeable, principled, and conscientious. We believe in investing in the next generation and preparing them to become the leaders of tomorrow. 

If you are looking for this type of education for your student and live around the Clearwater, FL area, contact us today or schedule an appointment to talk with a St. Cecelia representative.

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