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For Immediate Release
September 22, 2005
Contact: Charles Pyle
Director of Communications
(804) 371-2420
Julie Grimes
Public Information Officer
(804) 225-2775

Nine Virginia Schools Earn Federal Blue Ribbon Status

The U.S. Department of Education has designated seven Virginia public elementary schools and two parochial schools as 2005 No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors high performing public and private K-12 schools and schools that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement

The public schools receiving federal Blue Ribbon School status for dramatically improving student achievement include:

  • Beaverdam Elementary School in Hanover County
  • Chase City Elementary School in Mecklenburg County
  • Hermitage Elementary School in Virginia Beach
  • Leesburg Elementary School in Loudoun County
  • Robert S. Payne Elementary School in Lynchburg
  • Robious Elementary School in Chesterfield County
  • Rye Cove Intermediate School in Scott County

All of the schools are fully accredited under Virginia’s accountability system. Each school also met objectives for student achievement last year under the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB).

“With eight out of ten Virginia schools fully accredited and meeting the objectives of NCLB, it was a challenge to select seven schools for this special recognition,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jo Lynne DeMary. “The blue ribbon winners represent schools across the commonwealth that are providing effective instruction and opportunities for every child to learn and achieve.”

Charlottesville Catholic School and Our Lady of Good Counsel School in Vienna also were recognized as 2005 Blue Ribbon Schools by the federal education department. The Council for American Private Education nominated private and parochial schools for Blue Ribbon awards.

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.

U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings will honor Virginia’s Blue Ribbon Schools during an awards ceremony in Washington, DC, in November. 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, 98 Virginia public and private schools have received federal Blue Ribbon designations.