This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Education is congratulating seven Indiana schools for being among the 325 schools nationally honored as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

Created in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon School Program recognizes public, parochial and private learning facilities from across the country, as nominated by the chief educational officers in each state (for public schools) or the Council for American Private Education (for private or parochial schools).

Katie Jenner, the Indiana Secretary of Education, said 2021’s recipients should be especially proud of their accomplishments amid challenging times.

“With this distinction, Indiana’s Blue Ribbon Schools are shining bright on the national stage” “Through challenging times, these schools are not admiring the problem — they’re focused on student-centered solutions. I’m thrilled to congratulate each of these schools for earning this honor, all centered around preparing each student with the knowledge and skills necessary for lifelong success.”

Schools in the U.S., including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and those operated by the Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense, can be recognized in two performance categories: high achievement in graduation rates as well as English or math test performance; and greatest advancements in closing achievement gaps in English or math between student subgroups.

Schools from 45 different states were recognized on the 2021 list. California boasted the most Blue Ribbon Schools with a total of 28, though Texas and New York followed close behind with 26 and 19 schools on the list, respectively.

In Indiana, seven schools were recognized. The schools include:

  • Bartholomew County – Columbus Signature Academy Lincoln Campus, Bartholomew Consolidated School District
  • Jefferson County – Deputy Elementary School, Madison Consolidated Schools
  • Marion County – Grassy Creek Elementary School, MSD Warren Township School District
  • Lake County – Lake Prairie Elementary School, Tri-Creek School Corporation
  • St. Joseph County – Swanson Traditional School, South Bend Community School Corporation
  • Hamilton County – Thorpe Creek Elementary School, Hamilton Southeastern Schools
  • Brown County – Van Buren Elementary School, Brown County School Corporation

The vast majority of 2021’s award recipients (302) were public schools.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education, has issued approximately 10,000 Blue Ribbon School Awards to over 9,000 different schools since its inception. In order to qualify for an award, schools must meet the wide set of requirements set forth by the Education Department before being submitted for consideration by a state official. Up to 421 schools may be nominated in a given year, including 50 total private schools. In addition, a school can only be nominated once within a five-year period, per the program’s official rules.

A complete list of 2021’s winners can be found at the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program website.