“National Blue Ribbon Schools is a U.S. Department of Education Department program to honor schools for overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps over time,” Iowa Department of Education spokesperson Staci Hupp says, “that is achievement gaps among groups of students — including students from low income backgrounds, or who do not speak English as their native language.
She says the five Iowa schools are among 342 nationwide which are chosen based on their performance on state tests and graduation rates. Two schools were recognized for closing the achievement gap –Charter Oak-Ute Elementary School and North Kossuth Elementary School. The other three schools –Stilwell Junior High School, West Des Moines, Tipton Elementary School and Whittier Elementary School in Indianola — were recognized as high performing schools.
“This is really great news for these schools and it’s really great news for Iowa,” Hupp says. “So we’re celebrating the progress made by both students and educators in these schools and we really commend their leadership and hard work.” Representatives of the schools will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 6th and 7th.