Sept. 16, 2009
Five Kansas schools were among the 314 schools in the United States named by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan as 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools award, one of the most prestigious education awards in the nation, distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.
In announcing the National Blue Ribbon Schools, Secretary Duncan said, “These Blue Ribbon Schools have shown that all children can learn with appropriate supports. They are producing outstanding results for their students. Some have shown dramatic improvements in places where students are overcoming the challenges of poverty, and others serve as examples of consistent excellence that can be a resource for other schools. They are places where improved teaching and learning benefits every student, and where students are challenged to meet high expectations with the active support of teachers, parents, and the community.”
The Kansas schools being recognized include Broken Arrow Elementary School, Lawrence USD 497; Oakley Elementary School, Oakley USD 274; Phillipsburg Elementary School, Phillipsburg USD 325; Robinson Elementary School, Augusta USD 402; and Rock Creek Junior/Senior High School, Rock Creek USD 323.
"These schools are proving that when we raise the bar our children will rise to the challenge," said Kansas Commissioner of Education, Dr Alexa Posny. "It takes a lot of hard work by teachers and students to become a National Blue Ribbon School, and it's a privilege to celebrate their great efforts."
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests; and 2) Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests.
The schools—264 public and 50 private—will be honored at an awards ceremony on November 3, 2009, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.
Four of the Kansas schools being recognized were nominated as representative of both criteria: 1) a dramatically improving school serving at least 40 percent disadvantaged students, and 2) a school whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests. These include Phillipsburg Elementary School, Robinson Elementary School, Broken Arrow Elementary School and Oakley Elementary School.
One school, Rock Creek Junior/Senior High School, is being recognized for category 2—Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests.