A private school can be designated a Blue Ribbon School for high performance if its scores on reading and math assessments are among the highest in the nation. The performance of students in subgroups must be on par with the performance of other students. That was the case for First Presbyterian.
A public school also can be given the Blue Ribbon designation if the improvement made by its students on state reading and math assessments over the past five years is among the highest in the state. The improvement of students in subgroups must be similar to that of other students.
Chase Street Elementary in Athens-Clarke County, Hendricks Elementary in Cobb County (formerly Austell Intermediate School) and Fairmount Elementary in Gordon County were honored for improving student performance.
“I’m so proud of our kids and our teachers,” said Patrick O’Connell, principal at Hendricks Elementary School. “This is really a special way to recognize excellence.”
Last year, 10 schools in Georgia were named Blue Ribbon Schools. In 2010, seven received that designation, and in 2009 12 were honored.
The schools must be nominated by the Georgia Department of Education, and they must submit an individual application to the U.S. Department of Education.
Blue Ribbon status does not come with a financial reward, but it is a coveted sign of accomplishment and prestige. Officials from the Blue Ribbon Schools will participate in an awards ceremony Nov. 12 in Washington.