ST. LOUIS — Five St. Louis area school communities are celebrating one of the most prestigious national education honors.
The list of 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools was released Tuesday morning, and of the 325 locations recognized, five were in the greater St. Louis area.
St. Louis area National Blue Ribbon Schools:
- Francis Howell Middle School, Francis Howell School District R-III
- North Kirkwood Middle School, Kirkwood School District R-VII
- Okawville Grade School, West Washington County Community School District 10, Okawville, Illinois
- Raccoon Consolidated School District 1, Centralia, Illinois
- Wydown Middle School, School District of Clayton
The recognition comes after a school year filled with uncertainty, COVID-19 cases, quarantines and switches between in-person learning and virtual.
“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
The national award honors schools in one of two categories:
- Exemplary High-Performing Schools: Among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools: Among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
The two Illinois schools in the St. Louis area received the honor for closing achievement gaps, while the other three were awarded as being high-performing schools.
View the full list of honorees on the National Blue Ribbon Schools website.