Four Kansas schools recognized as 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — Four Kansas schools have been designated National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016, U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. announced Wednesday.

There were a total of 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The award is based on the school’s overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The Kansas schools receiving the designation are Challenger Intermediate School, Goddard Unified School District 265; Chanute Elementary School, Chanute USD 413; McKinley Intermediate School, Abilene USD 435; and Wheatridge Middle School, Gardner Edgerton USD 231.

“I am very proud of these four Kansas schools for achieving this award,” said Kansas Commissioner of Education Randy Watson. “These schools represent the great quality of education taking place throughout our state.”

The Blue Ribbon program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.

In the high-performing category, schools are recognized for being among the 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 during the past five years.

All four Kansas schools were in the Exemplary High Performing category.

The U.S. Department of Education 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. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated each year.

The program is in its 34th year and has bestowed the award on about 8,500 schools. The Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C.

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