GREAT FALLS — U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona on Tuesday recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools - including two in Montana.
The Montana schools are Cascade Elementary School in Cascade, and Ridge View Elementary School in Belgrade.
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
A news release from Cardona says 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.
The program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
Other Montana schools named as Blue Ribbon Schools in recent years:
- 2013: Manhattan Elementary School, Manhattan
- 2014: Longfellow Elementary School, Bozeman
- 2014: Anaconda High School, Anaconda
- 2015: Margaret Leary School, Butte
- 2015: Eureka Middle School, Eureka
- 2015: Hellgate Elementary Intermediate School, Missoula
- 2018: Heck/Quaw Elementary School, Belgrade
- 2019: Fairfield Elementary School Fairfield
- 2019: Fort Benton Elementary School, Fort Benton
- 2019: Hawthorne Elementary School, Missoula
- 2020: Russell Elementary School, Kalispell
- 2020: Clancy K-8 Elementary School, Clancy
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.