U.S. Secretary of Education, John B. King, Jr., announced today that Atlanta Public Schools’ Morningside Elementary School has been named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School in the Exemplary High Performing Category! Morningside Elementary is among 279 public and 50 private schools receiving this honor.
Principal Audrey Sofianos and a teacher will represent Morningside Elementary at a two-day awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 7 and 8, where the school will be formally recognized by the Department of Education.
“Our school is honored and thrilled to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School!” said Sofianos. “I am so proud of our students and their love of learning. This national award honors our entire school community – teachers, parents, volunteers, partners and our school system, who come together each day in support of our young people and their education.”
The school was nominated by the Georgia Department of Education, and then was required to complete a comprehensive application about school practices. All schools are recognized 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. Morningside was awarded this category.
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.
The following public schools received the recognition: Morningside Elementary (Atlanta Public Schools), Mount Bethel Elementary (Cobb County Schools), Sharon Elementary (Forsyth County Schools) Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science and Technology (Gwinnett County Schools), Newton County Theme School at Ficquett (Newton County Schools), Midway Elementary (Pierce County Schools) and Jacob G. Smith Elementary (Savannah-Chatham County Schools).
Three Georgia private schools, Calvary Day School in Savannah, St. Joseph Catholic School in Marietta and St. Thomas More Catholic School in Decatur, were also named National Blue Ribbon Schools.
“These Georgia schools are to be commended for their outstanding student performance,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “They are doing an excellent job making sure all students are ready to learn, ready to live, and ready to lead. To every one of the teachers and leaders in these schools – thank you for the incredible work you’re doing on behalf of the children of our state.”
About the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 public and private schools. A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated each year.
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. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.