The U.S. Department of Education recognized 353 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Among the schools honored with Blue Ribbon status was Vicenza Elementary School (Vicenza, Italy) in the Department of Defense Education Activity’s Europe South District.
The coveted 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. Now in its 40th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed more than 10,000 awards to over 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for re-nomination after five years. The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores, and graduation rates:
Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education officials 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 (CAPE).
“I am incredibly proud of the students, staff, and faculty at Vicenza Elementary School,” said Thomas M. Brady, DoDEA Director. “Their dedication to exemplary achievement, as well as strong support from parents and the military community, are reflected in this great honor.”
A 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held later this year to allow the Department of Education to celebrate all of the public and non-public school honorees. In the near future, Vicenza Elementary School will proudly fly the National Blue Ribbon School flag, a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.