Submitted by Aaron McColloch
Sapulpa Public Schools
Freedom Elementary of Sapulpa Public Schools was recognized today by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos as one of 367 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020.
The recognition is based on the school’s overall progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“They have worked extremely hard and in a lot of challenging ways, especially this year. We have new challenges and they are continuing to rise to the occasion and be up here late at night and on the weekends to do everything they can to help our students succeed,” said Freedom Principal Alison Owens of her staff. “To be recognized like this is such an honor. ”
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.
“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Secretary DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”
The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores, and graduation rates:
- Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education 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 (CAPE).
The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13.