Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Bethel Elementary, Wade Hampton High Named National Blue Ribbon Schools

National Blue Ribbon School EmblemU.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. today announced Bethel Elementary in Simpsonville and Wade Hampton High in Greenville among the 329 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016. The award is based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“I am extremely proud of the students, staff and communities at Bethel Elementary and Wade Hampton High schools,” said Superintendent Dr. W. Burke Royster. “Recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School speaks highly of their commitment to exemplary student achievement and strong parental involvement that create innovative and inviting learning environments.”

Greenville County Schools has 12 previous National Blue Ribbon Schools winners. They are Augusta Circle Elementary, Baker’s Chapel Elementary, Bethel Elementary (1996), Brushy Creek Elementary, Buena Vista Elementary, Hillcrest Middle, League Academy, Mauldin High, Mitchell Road Elementary, Oakview Elementary (2000 and 2006), Pelham Road Elementary, and Taylors Elementary.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools.  On November 7 and 8, the Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. 

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