What is a Blue Ribbon School

Updated on Oct 15, 2019 09:17 AM by Mastropietro, Jennifer
What is a Blue Ribbon School

The U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award is a widely recognized honor signifying excellence in teaching and learning in public and private elementary, middle, and high schools. The award honors schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.  Saint Agatha School has earned this honor for being an Exemplary High Performing School each time.  

Exemplary High Performing Schools: "High performing" means:

  1. That the achievement of the school's students in the most recent year tested places the school in the top 15 percent in the nation in reading (or English language arts) and mathematics as measured by a nationally normed test or in the top 15 percent of its state as measured by a state test. If a non-public school administers both state tests and nationally normed tests, the school must be in the top 15 percent in both.

  2. Disaggregated results for student groups, including students from disadvantaged backgrounds, must be similar to the results for all students tested.

  3. The graduation rate for non-public high schools must be 95% or higher in the most recent year.

Non-public schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

The Blue Ribbon designation affirms the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

These Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels.

Saint Agatha School has been awarded the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award first in 1985, then again in 2000 and for a third time in 2015, making Saint Agatha the only Catholic School in the Columbus Diocese to have received the honor three times.