Rehoboth Elementary was one of three Delaware schools recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced Sept. 21.
Cape Assistant Superintendent Jenny Nauman said she was very excited, but not surprised that Rehoboth Elementary received the national distinction.
“The staff, students, and community have worked together to create a learning environment for student success,” Nauman said. “Their hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed in the district and state, and is now being honored nationally.”
Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed about 10,000 awards on more than 9,000 schools. Schools are recognized 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.
Rehoboth earned Blue Ribbon status as an Exemplary High-Performing School. The award isn’t Rehoboth’s first national honor; in 2019, the school was named the National ESEA Distinguished School for gains in bridging the achievement gap.
Among other Cape district schools, Shields Elementary was named a Blue Ribbon School in 2013, followed by Cape High in 2015.
The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. In all, 325 schools received the honor; 420 may be nominated each year.
Cardona said he commended the schools for keeping students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional and mental health needs.
“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,” Cardona said. “In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect and teach our children.”
North Star Elementary School in Hockessin and Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville were also named National Blue Ribbon Schools.