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Blue Ribbon School Award - Finding the Best Schools in our Nation

Updated on July 4, 2017
JoanieMRuppel54 profile image

I am a proud staff member and parent at a Blue Ribbon School - St. John the Apostle Catholic School in North Richland Hills, Texas.

Blue Ribbon Schools - Search for the Best Schools

Blue Ribbon recognition is one of the highest accomplishments a public or private school can achieve in our country. Here is an overview of the Blue Ribbon award history and some of the requirements for recognition.

In its first 25 years of existence, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program was awarded over 5,600 times to 5,200 different schools (some have been recognized more than once). In the US, there are over 133,000 schools serving grades K-12 that are eligible, including public, charter, private and parochial schools, so approximately 3.9% of schools have been awarded the Blue Ribbon School recognition. This is certainly an accomplishment that should make any school community proud.

Located in North Richland Hills, Texas K-8th grade
Located in North Richland Hills, Texas K-8th grade

Blue Ribbon History

The Blue Ribbon School Awards were originated in 1982 by Terrel Bell, then the Secretary of Education. As it was originally conceived, it was to honor exemplary secondary schools in the United States. But it was later changed to honor primary schools as well, and they were alternating years recognizing secondary and then primary schools. Currently, all K-12 schools are eligible and all levels can receive the award.

These schools are honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC, each year, and awarded with a plaque and a flag to signify their status. About 300 schools are honored nationwide each year. There have been several schools that have been recognized multiple times, some as many as four times over the years. This is impressive because a school cannot be considered if it has won the award in the past five years, and the school must have been in existence for five years. So, do the math and you will see that a school honored successively is one you want to consider attending.

Did You Know?

That once you achieve the status of a Blue Ribbon School, you get to keep that status and apply it to all your correspondence and promotion? It is truly an honor!

The Process of How To Become A Blue Ribbon School

Schools must qualify for consideration by meeting one of two assessment criteria. A school that has at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that has demonstrated improved student performance based on their states assessment criteria is one. The other is for schools that fall into the top 10 percent of the state assessment testing.

To be recognized as a Blue Ribbon school, a school starts with a self-evaluation which is typically a procedure that gathers teachers, parents, students, and community members to look at the school's strengths and weaknesses. This is often followed by developing strategic plans for the future. The school will submit a written application that documents its current standing and information regarding its work on achieving the National Education Goals.

Review Panel

The next step is where a review panel screens the applications and chooses the best candidate schools for site visits. These site visits include assessments by experienced educators. The review panel then reviews these assessments and makes its recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Education, who announces the finals schools selected for the award.

St John the Apostle Catholic School was awarded the Blue Ribbon award in 2008, recognizing it as one of the best schools in the Diocese of Fort Worth. You can see more about the school on our school website St. Johns School.

Blue Ribbon School Winners - Listed By Year

Click here to see a compilation of Blue Ribbon Awardees using key filters, state, year, and ocation. Find the nearest Blue Ribbon school near you!

Best of the Best!

St. John the Apostle Catholic School is the only private school in Tarrant County, Texas (Fort Worth, Arlington and Mid-Cities area) to achieve this award since 2008!

Way to go SJS!

50 years of St. John the Apostle Catholic School

SJS is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this 2015-2016 school year. Events included an Alumni Night in January, an Art Exhibit in early April and the culminating event, our annual school auction on April 30, 2016 at the North Richland Hills Centre.

We are proud to have served the community for the past 50 years in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex and Mid-Cities suburban area.

Show Your School Spirit Here! - Blue Ribbon Ideas

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