Three Delaware Schools earn 2015 National Blue Ribbon Distinction

Three Delaware schools are among 335 schools that U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized today as 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student academic achievement.

Cape Henlopen School District’s Cape Henlopen High School, Lake Forest Elementary’s Lake Forest East Elementary School and Caesar Rodney School District’s W. B. Simpson Elementary School are among the 285 public and 50 private schools that will be honored at an awards ceremony November 9 to 10 in Washington, D.C. The schools’ principals — Brian Donahue (Cape Henlopen High School), Susan Piavis and James Dick (Lake Forest East Elementary School) and Michael Kijowski (W. B. Simpson Elementary School) — will be invited to attend the national awards ceremony with a teacher representative from each of their schools.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Duncan said to the awardees in a video message. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence—in vision, in implementation and in results—and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”

Michael Watson, Delaware’s chief academic officer, praised each school’s community for its partnership with educators and thanked the schools’ teachers and leaders for their hard work supporting student success.

“These teachers and leaders are strong examples of the exemplary efforts of educators across our state who work hard to ensure every child in every classroom in every school is learning and growing every day,” he said.

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant improvements in students’ levels of achievement, especially among disadvantaged and minority students. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds. In its 32-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,000 of America’s schools.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing Schools,” in which schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance is also at the highest levels. The second category is “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools,” in which schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance for each subgroup is at high levels. Specifically, for the 2013-2014 award year, the department strengthened the focus of both categories’ performance criteria around subgroups within a school and for all students.

A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated, with allocations determined by the numbers of K-12 students and schools in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. The Secretary of Education invites nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.

A listing of all National Blue Ribbon Schools in Delaware:

Cape Henlopen High Lewes 2015
Lake Forest East Elementary Frederica 2015
W. B. Simpson Elementary Wyoming 2015
Academy of Dover Dover 2014
John M. Clayton Elementary Frankford 2014
Lake Forest North Elementary Felton 2014
The Charter School of Wilmington Wilmington 2013
Richard A. Shields Elementary Lewes 2013
Allen Frear Elementary Dover 2013
Linden Hill Elementary Wilmington 2012
Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary New Castle 2012
Star Hill Elementary Dover 2012
West Park Place Elementary Newark 2011
Long Neck Elementary Millsboro 2011
Nellie Hughes Stokes Elementary Dover 2011
Christ the Teacher Catholic Newark 2010
Newark Charter Newark 2010
Robert S. Gallaher Elementary Newark 2010
Woodbridge Elementary Greenwood 2010
Marbrook Elementary Wilmington 2009
East Millsboro Elementary Millsboro 2008
Sussex Technical High Georgetown 2008
Lancashire Elementary Wilmington 2007
Etta J. Wilson Elementary Newark 2007
Joseph M. McVey Elementary Newark 2007
North Georgetown Elementary Georgetown 2006
Lake Forest East Elementary Frederica 2006
Fairview Elementary School Dover 2006
Long Neck Elementary School Millsboro 2005
Booker T. Washington Elementary Dover 2005
Lulu M. Ross Elementary Milford 2004
Frankford Elementary Frankford 2004
Phillip C. Showell Elementary Selbyville 2003
Corpus Christi Elementary Wilmington 2001
Lord Baltimore Elementary Ocean View 2001
Padua Academy Wilmington 1996
Seaford Middle Seaford 1996
Sussex Technical High Georgetown 1996
St. Matthew Wilmington 1992
Corpus Christi Wilmington 1990
Dover High Dover 1987
Skyline Middle Wilmington 1985
Christiana High Newark 1984
Caesar Rodney Senior High Camden 1984
Brandywine High Wilmington 1983
Shue Middle Newark 1983