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Five Iowa schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools

Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Five Iowa schools are being recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021. The award honors schools for overall academic performance or for progress in closing achievement gaps among subgroups of students.

The Iowa schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools are:

  • Bedford Elementary School, Bedford Community School District.
  • Pleasant Valley High School, Pleasant Valley Community School District.
  • Lewis Central Senior High School, Lewis Central Community School District.
  • Hills Elementary School, Iowa City Community School District.
  • Spencer Middle School, Spencer Community School District.

“I commend Iowa’s Blue Ribbon Schools on their achievements in expanding educational opportunities to meet the needs of all students,” said Iowa Department of Education Director Ann Lebo. “This prestigious recognition celebrates the incredible work and dedication of Iowa administrators, educators and staff in supporting students and helping prepare them for future success.”

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. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

The award recognizes 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.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools 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.