On Friday, U.S. Department of Education Miguel Cardona recognized 297 schools in the nation as National Blue Ribbon School, which included 31 Texas schools. Gruver, Happy, Muleshoe, and Vega schools were among those on the list from the High Plains.

Recognition, according to the department, was based on the “school’s overall academic performance and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.”

The following are the Texas schools that were recognized:

  • Brownwood — East Elementary School, Brownwood Independent School District. 
  • Bynum — Bynum School, Bynum Independent School District. 
  • Claude — Claude School, Claude Independent School District. 
  • Dallas — All Saints Catholic School, Diocese of Dallas. 
  • Dallas — Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Diocese of Dallas. 
  • Dallas — School for the Talented and Gifted, Dallas Independent School District. 
  • Dallas – School of Science and Engineering, Dallas Independent School District. 
  • DeKalb – DeKalb Elementary School, DeKalb Independent School District. 
  • Denison – Terrell Elementary School, Denison Independent School District. 
  • Devers – Devers Elementary School, Devers Independent School District. 
  • Earth – Springlake-Earth Elementary/Junior High School, Springlake-Earth Independent School District. 
  • Garden City – Garden City Elementary School, Glasscock County Independent School District. 
  • Grand Prairie – Grand Prairie Collegiate Institute, Grand Prairie Independent School District. 
  • Gruver – Gruver Elementary School, Gruver Independent School District. 
  • Gruver – Gruver Junior High School, Gruver Independent School District.
  • Happy – Happy High School, Happy Independent School District. 
  • Houston – Kerr High School, Alief Independent School District. 
  • Houston – Saint Cecilia Catholic School, Archdiocese of Galveston Houston. 
  • Houston – Saint Vincent de Paul Catholic School, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 
  • Houston – St Anne Catholic School, Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. 
  • Midland – Early College High School at Midland College, Midland Independent School District. 
  • Muleshoe – Muleshoe High School, Muleshoe Independent School District. 
  • North Richland Hills – St. John The Apostle Catholic School, Dioceses of Fort Worth. 
  • Smyer – Smyer Schools, Smyer Independent School District. 
  • Somerset – Somerset Elementary School, Somerset Independent School District. 
  • Sonora – Sonora Secondary School, Sonora Independent School District. 
  • Three Rivers – Three Rivers Elementary School, Three Rivers Independent School District. 
  • Valley Mills – Valley Mills High School, Valley Mills Independent School District. 
  • Vega – Vega Elementary School, Vega Independent School District. 
  • Victoria – Nursery Elementary School, Nursery Independent School District.
  • Wink – Wink Elementary School, Wink-Loving Independent School District. 

“I applaud all the honorees for the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award for creating vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school communities where students can learn, grow, reach their potential, and achieve their dreams,” said Secretary Cardona.

“As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives,” concluded Cardona.

The department noted that the National Blue Ribbon School Program has honored around 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, as the award serves as an example of the hard work and dedication of students, educators and families.

In addition, the department explained that the National Blue Ribbon flag displayed on a flagpole or entryway at a school is a recognizable symbol of the school’s effective teaching and learning.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott congratulated the 31 schools stating:

“Being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School is a distinguished honor, and I want to congratulate the students, teachers, administrators, and parents of these 31 schools for their hard work and dedication to excellence in our schools.”

Governor Greg Abbott

According to the governor’s office, Texas has the most 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools, topping California and New York with 29 and 20 Blue Ribbon Schools, respectively. This recognition by the U.S. Department of Education is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps.

Schools are recognized in one of the two following performance categories based on student scores, subgroup student scores, and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.  
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

You can find a complete list of the 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools here while additional reports on the national program can be found on MyHighPlains.com.