Over the past 40 years, 9,000 schools have earned the National Blue Ribbon Award for Excellence. This is a coveted distinction as it is the only one given by the U.S. Department of Education. It was created not only to recognize amazing schools throughout the nation but also to look at what makes them great. What are their standards? What kind of environment are they fostering to help students succeed? This can then be shared with other schools for improvement and achievement overall.


What are the Qualifications of a Blue Ribbon School?

All schools vary in regard to the student population. Age, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status are all huge factors that play a part in student success. Institutions both public and private are considered for this award with three different categories. According to U.S. Department of Education,

" While awardee schools represent the diverse fabric of American schools, they share some core elements.  National Blue Ribbon School leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards, but they also stay close to the real action of teaching and learning. Faculty are valued and supported through meaningful professional learning and opportunities to work as colleagues and peer supporters. Data from many sources drive instruction and student support services to ensure every student is set up to succeed. Families, communities, and educators work together toward common goals."


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What are the National Blue Ribbon Award Categories?

Exemplary High Performing- Determined by state assessments, students at these schools have the best scores in mathematics and English. The schools also have some of the highest graduation rates in the state.

Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing- Over the course of 3-5 years, these schools have worked to ensure that different student groups don't overwhelmingly outperform others due to various factors out of the student's control such as gender, race/ethnicity, or family income level.

The Terrell H. Bell Award for Outstanding School Leadership- This is given to a school's principal who has transformed their school in such a way that every student, teacher, faculty, and staff member has opportunities for excellence. Shining a light on leaders who go over and beyond the call of duty so students can experience academic success as well as social, emotional, physical, and cultural development.


2023 National Blue Ribbon Award Winners in Kentucky

Cassidy Elementary School- Lexington, KY

Drakes Creek Middle School- Bowling Green, KY

Farmington Elementary School- Mayfield, KY

Potter Gray Elementary School- Bowling Green, KY

Russell High School- Russell, KY

Saint Xavier High School- Louisville, KY

Villa Madonna Academy Elementary School- Villa Hills, KY

The number of students at these schools ranges from 236 to 1,088 and obviously covers ages from kindergarten to senior year, but they all are the best of the best in education and fostering top-notch environments for learning.

See How School Cafeteria Meals Have Changed Over the Past 100 Years

Using government and news reports, Stacker has traced the history of cafeteria meals from their inception to the present day, with data from news and government reports. Read on to see how various legal acts, food trends, and budget cuts have changed what kids are getting on their trays.

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