Blue Ribbon winners: Three Mississippi schools named to prestigious list

Published 9:10 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Today, three schools in Mississippi were among the 353 schools across the nation named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023 by the U.S. Department of Education. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The Mississippi schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:

  • Caledonia High School, Lowndes County School District
  • Laurel Magnet School of the Arts, Laurel School District
  • Lewisburg Elementary School, DeSoto County School District

“The MDE applauds these three schools for their outstanding achievements that have earned them this national recognition,” said Dr. Ray Morgigno, interim state superintendent of education. “We thank all educators, staff and community stakeholders whose hard work contributed to successful student outcomes.”

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With its 40th cohort, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,700 schools. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in striving for – and attaining – exemplary achievement.

National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. A National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing a school’s entryway or on a flagpole is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes all schools 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.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Lewisburg Elementary School and Laurel Magnet School of the Arts were recognized as Exemplary High-Performing Schools. Caledonia High School was recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing School.

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Department of Education invites  nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.