Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Colonial Elementary School named one of 353 National Blue Ribbon Schools by U.S. Education Department

Colonial Elementary School was named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2023—one of 353 across America—by the U.S. Department of Education, the Pelham Union Free School District announced Wednesday.

The award is based on a school’s academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups. Colonial was recognized in the “exemplary high-performing schools category” as one of New York State’s highest performing schools as measured by state and national tests, the district said in a press release.

“I am so proud of our entire school community for earning this tremendous honor,” Rachael Garcia, principal of Colonial School, said in the release. “To be recognized as one of just a small handful of schools across our country is truly special. Our students and staff work incredibly hard each and every day; to see that hard work and dedication pay off in this way is truly rewarding. We are also fortunate to have a tremendous support staff, world class administrators, amazing parents and a supportive community, all of whom contributed to achieving this great honor.”

As many as 420 schools may be nominated each year for the National Blue Ribbon award, the district said. Nominees complete an extensive application describing their school culture and philosophy, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, professional development, leadership structures and parent and community involvement.

Nominations come from the top education officials in all the states, the District of Columbia, U.S. territories, the Department of Defense Education Activity, the Bureau of Indian Education, and for private schools, the Council for American Private Education.

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in the release. “The leaders, educators and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”

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