September 25, 2020
One Philadelphia public school and five schools in the suburbs were among those named 2020 National Blue Ribbon of Excellence winners by the U.S. Department of Education this week.
Among those, there were two public schools: the School District of Philadelphia's Rhawnhurst Elementary in Northeast Philly and Marple Newtown School District's Loomis Elementary in Broomall, Delaware County.;
Three Archdiocese of Philadelphia parochial schools made the National Blue Ribbon list: St. Katharine of Siena Catholic School in Wayne, Delaware County, Mother of Providence Regional Catholic School in Wallingford, Delaware County, and Saint Patrick School in Malvern, Chester County.
Waldron Mercy Academy in Lower Merion, Montgomery County, a private, non-archdiocesan Catholic school also was selected.
National Blue Ribbon of Excellence awards are given to schools either for their academic excellence or for their progress in "achievement gaps among student subgroups," according to the U.S. Education Department. Student test scores and graduation rates are also used to determine the winners.
Rhawnhurst Elementary School, for example, was named an "Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School," while the other Philadelphia area winners designated "Exemplary High Performing Schools."
Education Secretary Betsy Devos announced the recipients on Thursday. She will attend a virtual awards ceremony on Nov. 12 and 13.
More than 9,000 schools nationwide have already received the award, including the 367 winners in 2020. This years' winners account for less than 1% of the total number of U.S. schools.
There are a maximum of 420 award nominees each year. Schools can be nominated for the award every five years.
All of the National Blue Ribbon award winners dating back to 1982 can be found here.