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Once my school is nominated, what is the process and timeline for learning if we will be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School?

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 2019 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools is as follows:

Timeline for 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Date Due
September, 2018 The Secretary of Education sends a letter of invitation to the CSSOs and CAPE requesting nominations of eligible schools.
November 30, 2018 Nomination processes and data for public schools being considered for nomination from CSSOs and interested non-public school nominations from CAPE are due to the Department.
December 14, 2018 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.
December 19, 2018 Non-public school applications are due to CAPE.
January 13, 2019 Approved public school nominations are entered by states into online portal.
January 15, 2019 The Department invites schools nominated by CSSOs to apply for recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
January 22, 2019 The Department invites public schools nominated by CSSOs to apply for recognition as National Blue Ribbon Schools.
January 29, 2019 CAPE selects its non-public school nominations.
March 29, 2019 Completed public and non-public school applications are due to the Department.
April-June, 2019 Applications are reviewed for completeness, quality and accuracy.
August, 2019 States certify that nominated public schools have met all eligibility requirements.
September, 2019 The Secretary of Education announces the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools (public and non-public).
November, 2019 Two representatives from each school, (the principal and a teacher) and the superintendent, attend the recognition ceremony in Washington, DC.