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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 2017 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 2017:

Bear Creek Elementary School
2500 Table Mesa Drive 
Boulder, CO, 80305-5746
Boulder Valley School District
Principal Kent Cruger

Dennison Elementary School
401 Independence Street 
Lakewood, CO, 80226-1082
Jefferson County School District
Principal Maureen Curtiss

The Connect Charter School
104 East 7th Street 
Pueblo, CO, 81003-4109
Pueblo County School District 70
Principal Jeff Hawkins

Valdez Elementary School
2525 West 29th Avenue 
Denver, CO, 80211-3711
Denver Public Schools District
Principal Jessica Buckley

Wildflower Elementary School
1160 Keith Drive 
Colorado Springs, CO, 80916-2114
Harrison School District 2
Principal Wendy T Godwin


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
burnham_k@cde.state.co.us
(303) 866-6916

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