“National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future,” DeVos said to the honorees. “You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us: some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. This coveted award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.
“Our community can be rightfully proud, as this is the second time in recent history that the academic performance of our children has been placed on an elite pedestal on the national stage,” said Lloyd W. Graham, La Porte ISD superintendent of schools. “We are proud of and proud for Jennie Reid Elementary’s students, faculty, staff, parents and extended community as the campus is honored by the United States Department of Education.”
Jennie Reid Elementary, which serves 453 students, is the second La Porte ISD campus to earn this honor in the past six years. Lomax Elementary School was named a 2011 National Blue Ribbon School.
Jennie Reid Elementary was one of 26 Texas schools—from more than 8,300 campuses in the state—nominated for this prestigious honor by Texas Commissioner of Education Mike Morath in January 2017. Campus and district administrators then completed a detailed application process for consideration for the national recognition.
Jennie Reid principal Diane Weeden announced the campus’s selection as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School to students and staff shortly after DeVos released the names of the honored schools. A variety of events celebrating this award will be planned for the coming months.
Now in its 35th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,500 schools. The Secretary and Department of Education will celebrate with these honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., Nov 6 and 7.
All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education.
Ongoing information about Jennie Reid Elementary School’s selection as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School and photos from upcoming celebrations will be provided on the La Porte ISD website, lpisd.org.