The U. S. Department of Education has named Graves County Central Elementary and three other Kentucky public schools as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence.
The other three award-winning public schools and their districts include Ezel Elementary in Morgan County, Norton Elementary in Jefferson County, and Rich Pond Elementary in Warren County. Five private schools also were recognized. The Kentucky schools are among the 342 schools across America at the elementary, middle and high school levels recognized this year.
In its 35-year history, the national Blue Ribbon Schools program has become a trademark of excellence and a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning recognized by everyone from parents to policy-makers.
The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. One is Exemplary High Performing Schools. They are among the state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Various student group performance and high school graduation rates also are at the highest levels. The other recognition category is Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. They are among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students during the past five years. Student group performance and high school graduation rates for each group are at high levels.
“Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools are great examples of school success in the Commonwealth,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said. “These schools are models for others across Kentucky and serve as proof of what can happen when schools create a culture of high expectations for students and staff, encourage excellent teaching, support the learning needs of each child and adopt a mindset of continuous improvement.”
Pruitt continued, “For the Blue Ribbon winners, this award affirms the hard work of their educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master rigorous and engaging content and leave prepared for success at the next level.”
To learn more, log on to http://www.education.ky.gov. Blue Ribbon Schools representatives from each of Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools will join those from other states at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C. Nov. 6-7. More information on the program and a list of past Kentucky winners are available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html.