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National Blue Ribbon Schools

Trademark of Excellence, Symbol of Quality

Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored America’s most successful public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. A National Blue Ribbon Schools flag waving overhead has become a trademark of excellence, a symbol of quality recognized by everyone from parents to policy-makers in thousands of communities.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement.

Schools are eligible for National Blue Ribbon recognition if they meet either one of two criteria:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools: Schools that are ranked among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics or that score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by national norms in at least the most recent year tested.

  • Exemplary Improving Schools: Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that have reduced the achievement gap by making the most progress in improving student performance in reading (English language arts) and mathematics on state assessments or tests referenced by national norms in at least the most recent year tested.

At least one-third of the public schools nominated by each state must be schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Public schools must make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in the year of their nomination. National Blue Ribbon Schools are honored each year at a recognition ceremony in Washington, DC. The applications from the award-winning schools are posted on the Department’s web site. Summaries from a small group of National Blue Ribbon Schools visited each year identify educational practices that have been successful in closing the achievement gap.

Colorado 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awardees

The Colorado Department of Education submits to the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) the names of schools that meet the National Blue Ribbon Schools criteria. The following schools were submitted by the Colorado Department of Education and recognized by USDE in November 2016:

Cory Elementary School
1550 South Steele Street
Denver, CO  80210-2938
Denver Public Schools
Principal Jennifer Harris

Devinny Elementary School
1725 South Wright Street
Lakewood, CO  80228-3961
Jefferson County Public Schools
Principal Patricia DeLorenzo

DSST Green Valley Ranch High School
4800 Telluride Street
Denver, CO  80249-6803
Denver Public Schools
Principal Jenna Kalin

Parker Core Knowledge Charter School K-8
11661 North Pine Drive
Parker, CO  80138-9785
Douglas County School District
Principal Teri Lynn Aplin

Soaring Eagles Elementary School
4710 Harrier Ridge Drive
Colorado Springs, CO  80916-5745
Harrison School District 2
Principal Kelli O’Neil 

View Colorado's previous National Blue Ribbon School Award Recipients

National Contact:
Aba S. Kumi
Blue Ribbon Schools Program
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW, 5E103
Washington, DC 20202-8173

Colorado Contact:
Kim Burnham
Competitive Grants and Awards
(303) 866-6916

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