Caesar Rodney, Seaford schools among National Blue Ribbon honorees

DOVER – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos on Thursday recognized Allen Frear Elementary School in Camden, Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Seaford and Etta J. Wilson Elementary School in Newark as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020.

The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” Secretary DeVos said. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. 

The department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores, and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools – These 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.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13, when the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees are recognized. They will each receive their plaques and flags via mail.