Skip to main content
U.S. flag showing an official website of the United States government.

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov icon showing an official website of the United States government.

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https icon showing an official website of the United States government.

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Posted in


McGrath Writer and filmmaker Jennifer Fischer, who co-directed the documentary film Underdogs, about 2011 National Blue Ribbon McGrath Elementary School in Newhall, California, writes a love letter to public schools in a recent issue of the Santa Clara (CA) News. Read “As Summer Draws Near Thank an Educator.” Underdogs, due for completion later this year, showcases Read More

beacon elementary student reading photo New York City District 15c Brooklyn, NY Customization is the byword at PS 172, Beacon School of Excellence. Led by Principal Jack Spatola and Assistant Principal Erika Gundersen, Beacon teachers revisit and revise curricula throughout the year to meet students’ needs. In the video, teachers Maria DiRosa and Angela Ventura also describe Integrated Co-Teaching, which Read More

rocky mount photo of students Rocky Mount, VA Instructional coach Teresa Sanders and colleagues describe how the adoption of a rigorous, intensive Word Study program to teach decoding and understanding words has propelled student achievement to high levels. An integral part of the core English Language Arts curriculum from Kindergarten through fifth grade, Word Study practices at Rocky Mount are Read More

Sundance Elementary Photo Beaumont, CA Principal Lauren Kinney explains how explicit, direct interactive instruction (DII) engages students in active conversations and learning, and teachers Jennifer Tillson and Tracy Waters demonstrate how kinesthetic learning helps students retain knowledge and stay engaged in learning. A student reflects on teaching another student as part of an innovative, statewide RTI intervention that Read More

piedmont middle thumbnail photo Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Charlotte, NC Students are chosen for Piedmont (and all CMS magnet schools) through an open lottery. Principal Dee Gardner, formerly Piedmont’s schoolwide Instructional Coach, describes how Piedmont students learn to apply Argumentative Literacy, an element of the Common Core curriculum, in all subjects, even music.  Teachers David Milligan and Megan Whiting illustrate a Read More

2011 National Blue Ribbon School Profiles All National Blue Ribbon Schools are outstanding. Those featured here were chosen as examples of schools that encountered significant challenges on their road to excellence. They comprise a middle school Piedmont Open Middle School and three elementary schools Sundance Elementary, Rocky Mount Elementary School, and PS 172 Beacon School of Excellence. This year’s elementary schools Read More

The Dancing Educators Spirits were high as the 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools representatives went onstage to receive their honorary flags and plaques from the NBRS program director Aba Kumi. A USDE official was on hand with a camera to capture these Dancing Educators

2011 Bell Awards Terrel H. Bell Award The Terrel H. Bell Award, named for the former U.S. Secretary of Education, recognizes outstanding school leaders and the vital role they play in overcoming challenging circumstances. Principals nominated for this award are school leaders committed to fostering successful teaching and learning at their schools. They are principals who do whatever Read More

Session Summaries National “Blue Ribbon” Ideas The 2011 Recognition Ceremony featured lively networking and roundtable sessions that engaged more than 600 principals and teachers. The networking generated rich ideas for celebrating the award in communities across the nation. The roundtable sessions, facilitated by USDE Washington Teaching Ambassador Fellows, captured diverse strategies regarding measuring student achievement, preparing for Read More

Arne Duncan What happens at a National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony? This 3-minute video shows some key moments of the 2011 ceremony. Student performances enriched the ceremony, which brought educators together in a host of networking and learning opportunities.