One Fairfax County school was named among seven Virginia public schools honored as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, but the rest of Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs found themselves shut out.
A total of 325 schools nationally were named to the honor on Sept. 24. Among them was Sangster Elementary School in Fairfax County.
“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a statement released by the Virginia Department of Education.
Schools can receive the award either through overall achievement (as was the case with Sangster Elementary) or for making progress closing achievement gaps.
No Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church or Loudoun public schools made the grade this year, although one Prince William County public school – Mary G. Porter Traditional – was honored. Others statewide receiving the accolade included:
• Greendale Elementary School in Washington County.
• Elydale Middle School in Lee County.
• Meadows of Dan Elementary School in Patrick County.
• Northern Shores Elementary School in Suffolk.
• Windsor Oaks Elementary School in Virginia Beach.
“These schools epitomize the determination of our commonwealth’s public schools to maximize the potential of all students,” said Virginia Superintendent of Public Instruction James Lane, who praised their “unwavering commitment to excellence” during what he delicately termed “the extraordinary circumstances of the last two years.”
Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.