Eleven International Baccalaureate (IB) World Schools from across the United States have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools 2023, a recognition that affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in pursuit of exemplary achievement.
Established in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has since granted over 10,000 awards to more than 9,700 schools. The program, a vital part of the U.S. Department of Education, is now in its 40th cohort, identifying and honoring public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups on assessments.
The National Blue Ribbon School awardees share a handful of qualities, demonstrating effective and innovative teaching and learning approaches, a sense of commitment from the whole school to support the staff through meaningful professional development, and collaboration between families, educators, students and the local communities to work together towards common goals.
Each year, the U.S. Department of Education opens nominations for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award, allowing up to 420 schools to be nominated. Educational leaders from all states are invited to nominate schools for this honor. The Department of Education acknowledges schools in two performance categories, Exemplary High-Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools. These categories encompass the state's top-performing schools, measured by either state assessments or nationally normed tests, as well as those excelling in narrowing achievement gaps among student groups and the entire student body.
See below the full list of IB World Schools awarded with the National Blue Ribbon Schools 2023.
We invited this year’s Blue Ribbon Schools to share their thoughts about being nominated, and here’s what they shared:
1. Glen A. Wilson High School
“I am grateful for the teachers, staff members, students, parents, district administration, and school board members for the teamwork and effort that made these accolades possible. What’s more important than all the awards is that Wilson High School continues to achieve our goal of preparing our students for college, career, and beyond.”
—Dr Danielle Kenfield, Head of School
2. Sturgis Charter Public School
“This is an unprecedented honor for Sturgis, and a testament to the dedication and hard work of our students, educators, staff, and the entire Sturgis community. We are grateful for this recognition, which underscores our commitment to high standards and high expectations for all students that leads to high achievement, college readiness, and the development of inquiring and caring graduates.”
—Paul Marble, Executive Director of Sturgis Charter Public School
3. Bess Streeter Aldrich Elementary School
“We are proud to be recognized for our exemplary achievement! We know that the IB PYP plays an integral role in our success. We are honored for the recognition!”
—Heidi Penke, Head of School
4. Lakewood Catholic Academy
“As an IB World School, fostering academic excellence and building a positive school culture is at the heart of all we do each day. This work is evident in our creative approach to unit planning, our collaborative teamwork, our balanced assessments, our focus on building approaches to learning skills, our curricular and extracurricular offerings, and our commitment to making time for each and every student to optimize growth and wellbeing.”
—Eileen McGuire, Dean of Lakewood Catholic Academy’s IB Programme
5. Boyce Middle School
“We are tremendously proud of our entire Boyce Middle School community, including our teachers, staff, families and, most importantly, our students. The National Blue Ribbon is further testament that Boyce provides an extraordinary experience for our students and their families.”
—Dr John Rozzo, superintendent of schools for the Upper St. Clair School District
6. Casita Center
“We are absolutely thrilled and honored to receive the 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Recognition. It’s a true celebration of our learners, staff, families, and learning communities' dedication and perseverance in pursuit of a world class education. Casita is an IB World School with a STEM flair and offers hands-on learning experiences offered that promote learners’ strengths, interests, and values. We pride ourselves on enriching our learners lives through inquiry and conceptually based approaches to learning that are connected to the global and local context.”
—Jenny Chien, Principal, Casita Center