Following the receipt of school nominations from States, the Department invites nominated schools to apply for the award. After schools submit their applications for recognition, they are screened for completeness, quality, accuracy, and eligibility issues. Schools are provided with feedback and provided an opportunity to modify and improve their application before final submission.
Once reviews are completed, public schools must be certified by state CSSOs based on the school’s most current performance on state assessments in order to receive the National Blue Ribbon Schools award. Because state assessment results may not be available and announced until late summer, the Department usually announces the new National Blue Ribbon Schools in September of the year after a school’s initial nomination. The recognition ceremony takes place in mid-fall. The entire process, from initial nomination to receiving the award, takes about a year.
The timeline for the 2021 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools is as follows:
|September, 2020||The Secretary of Education sends a letter of invitation to the CSSOs and CAPE requesting nominations of eligible schools.|
|October, 2020||Conduct webinar/TA conference calls to review guidance and application with liaisons.|
|October 30, 2020||Pre-registrations of non-public schools are due.|
|December 31, 2020||Nomination processes and data for public schools being considered for nomination from CSSOs are due to the Department.|
|January 6, 2021||Hard copy of non-public school applications and assessment results are due to CAPE.|
|January 11-15, 2021||Nomination processes and data for public schools being considered for nomination are reviewed by ED and a NBRS Assessment Panel for alignment with the general eligibility criteria of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.|
|February 3, 2021||Approved public school nominations are entered by states into online portal.|
|February 8, 2021||The Department invites public schools nominated by CSSOs to apply for recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools.|
|February 19, 2021||CAPE selects non-public school nominations.|
|April 9, 2021||Completed public and non-public school applications are due to the Department.|
|April-June, 2021||Applications are reviewed for completeness, quality, and accuracy.|
|August, 2021||States certify that nominated public schools have met all eligibility requirements.|
|September, 2021||The Secretary of Education announces the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools (public and non-public).|
|November, 2021||Two representatives from each school, the principal and a teacher, attend the
recognition ceremony in Washington, DC.