EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Tuesday morning, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, with 26 schools in Texas, and including five from the Sun City.
Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip, while visiting an awardee school, Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School, in Palatine, Illinois.
The five El Paso area schools honored are:
Clendenin Elementary School, El Paso Independent School District.
Hawkins Elementary School, El Paso Independent School District.
Lamar Elementary School, El Paso Independent School District.
Ramona Elementary School, Ysleta Independent School District.
Vista Hills Elementary School, Ysleta Independent School District.
Officials say the recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona.
“I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”
Officials add that the 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.
The Department 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. Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.
The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools 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.
Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
The other Texas schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:
- Alamo – Zeferino Farias Elementary School, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District.
- Atlanta – Atlanta Elementary School, Atlanta Independent School District.
- Brownsville – Gallegos Elementary School, Brownsville Independent School District.
- Brownsville – Mittie A Pullam Elementary School, Brownsville Independent School District.
- Dallas – Christ The King Catholic School, Diocese of Dallas.
- Dallas – Kathlyn Joy Gilliam Collegiate Academy, Dallas Independent School District.
- Dallas – Trinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School At Mountain View, Dallas Independent School District.
- Dickinson – Calder Road Elementary School, Dickinson Independent School District.
- Edinburg – South Texas Preparatory Academy, South Texas Independent School District.
- Hidalgo – Hidalgo Elementary School, Hidalgo Independent School District.
- Houston – North Houston Early College High School, Houston Independent School District.
- Lake Jackson – A. P. Beutel Elementary School, Brazosport Independent School District.
- Lamesa – Klondike High School, Klondike Independent School District.
- McAllen – Achieve Early College High School, McAllen Independent School District.
- Mesquite – Porter Elementary School, Mesquite Independent School District.
- San Antonio – Young Women’s Leadership Academy, San Antonio Independent School District.
- San Benito – South Texas ISD Rising Scholars Academy, South Texas Independent School District.
- Seguin – Navarro Elementary School, Navarro Independent School District.
- Spearman – Spearman Junior High School, Spearman Independent School District.
- Sugar Land – Logos Preparatory Academy, Logos Preparatory Academy.
- Valley Mills – Valley Mills Elementary School, Valley Mills Independent School District.