The U.S. Department of Education has named public schools in the Ankeny, Gilbert, South Central Calhoun and Waverly-Shellrock districts, and a private school in West Des Moines as “National Blue Ribbon Schools.” Staci Hupp Ballard is the spokesperson for Iowa’s Department of Education.
“This is an award that the U.S. Secretary of Education announces each year. The program honors elementary, middle and high schools — both public and private — for their overall academic excellence, or for closing achievement gaps,” Ballard says.
The awards for closing of achievement gaps is based on the school’s ability to improve the test scores among certain groups.
“Student subgroups include students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, or students who do not speak English as their native language,” Ballard says.
She says a select few schools are chosen for the annual recognition.)”There were 337 schools across the country named Blue Ribbon schools this year,” Ballard says. The schools singled out this year are: Northeast Elementary School in Ankeny, Gilbert High School, South Central Calhoun Elementary School and West Cedar Elementary School in the Waverly-Shell Rock district, and the Francis of Assisi School in West Des Moines.
“We’re certainly proud of them, this is certainly great news for these schools and great news for Iowa too,” according to Ballard. The U-S Department of Education will honor all the schools at a ceremony on November 10-11 in Washington, D.C.
You can find out more about the 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools at: www2.ed.gov/programs.