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Blog Posts

Site Visit: Innovating Math Instruction

Every day, students in grades 3-5 do the “Math Shuffle” to receive math instruction in small groups. Based on student pre-tests at the beginning of each concept unit, students are grouped into enrichment or heterogenous groups, allowing students to master math based on their individual math background and skills. The brainchild of a School Board member and former Curriculum Supervisor, the Math Shuffle has propelled student learning. Principal Susan Genco and others explain it in Innovating Math Instruction.

Site Visit: New Faces in STEM Careers

Now in its sixth year, Green Valley Ranch High School (Denver, CO) has a peerless record: 100% graduate rate, 100% college-going rate each year. A STEM-focused high school that has attracted a traditionally underserved student population, Green Valley Ranch High supports students through a strong community and higher-than-average academic demands. Director Jenna Kalin and others describe how the school is preparing New Faces in STEM Careers.

Site Visit: High Tech Makes Learning Personal

thumbnail of students for Shepard MSThe first of four site visit videos of selected 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools is now live. High Tech Makes Learning Personal illustrates how staff at the Alan B. Shepard Middle School in Deerfield, Illinois meets students “where they are” by giving students access to new technologies and creating a culture of collaboration and experimentation to prepare students for the work of the future. 

Changing History at Excellence Girls Charter School

Excellence Girls Charter School Teacher and Students Excellence Girls Charter School (Brooklyn, New York) was founded, at parents’ urging, as a companion to Excellence Boys Charter School, part of the Uncommon Schools network. Led by Nikki Bowen, Principal of the Elementary Academy, and Meredith Anderson, Principal of the Middle Academy, Excellence Girls is dedicated to preparing young women to be “fierce females”—confident, knowledgeable, and articulate women in a world that has not always made room for women, especially women of color.

Read the Excellence Girls National Blue Ribbon School profile.



The National Blue Ribbon Schools media library contains more than 30 school site visit videos (more to come) as well as video interviews with 2015 Terrel H. Bell Leadership awardees and audio recordings of previous Bell awardees and ceremony participants. Learn about exemplary practices and hear what outstanding principals and others say about their schools.  


All of these materials are available via a NBRS podcast channel.

NBRS State Liaison Interviews—Maryland

Maryland liaison Darla Strouse reflects on the value of educator recognition programs and describes some special ways that Maryland celebrates National Blue Ribbon Schools.



For more information on becoming a National Blue Ribbon School, please visit the FAQ page, which details the nomination process and criteria for both public and non-public schools. Contact your state liaison.