October 2, 2007
Director of Communications
Public Information Officer
The U.S. Department of Education has designated seven Virginia public elementary schools and three private schools as 2007 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their states or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.
The public schools receiving federal Blue Ribbon School status are as follows:
- Elk Knob Elementary, Pennington Gap, Lee County
- Fancy Gap Elementary, Carroll County
- Meherrin Elementary, Newsoms, Southampton County
- Shady Grove Elementary, Glen Allen, Henrico County
- Sharon Elementary, Clifton Forge, Alleghany County
- Tazewell Elementary, Tazewell County
- W.H. Taylor Elementary, Norfolk
All of the schools were fully accredited under Virginia's achievement-based accountability system in 2006-2007. In addition, each school met the complex federal definition for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for 2007 under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).
"By putting a school-wide emphasis on quality instruction and by believing that all children can succeed, these schools made their dream a reality," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Billy K. Cannaday Jr., who nominated the schools for federal recognition.
Three parochial schools — St. Gregory the Great Catholic in Virginia Beach, St. Bridget's in Richmond and St. Joseph in Herndon also were recognized as Blue Ribbon School by the federal education department. The Council for American Private Education nominates private and parochial schools for Blue Ribbon awards each year.
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program was established in 1982 to spotlight the country's most successful schools. The program, which allows both elementary and secondary schools to be recognized in the same year, was renamed and modified last year to emphasize the goals of NCLB.
The U.S. Department of Education will honor Virginia's Blue Ribbon Schools during an awards ceremony in Arlington November 12-13. Two people from each school, the principal and a teacher, will be invited to the ceremony where the schools will receive a plaque and a flag signifying their Blue Ribbon Status. Since 1982, more than 100 Virginia public and private schools have received federal Blue Ribbon designations.