For Immediate Release: September 21, 2021
JACKSON, Miss. – The U.S. Department of Education today recognized four Mississippi schools among the 325 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
The following Mississippi schools were recognized:
- Woolmarket Elementary School, Harrison County School District
- Brandon Elementary School, Rankin County School District
- East Hancock Elementary School, Hancock County School District
- Della Davidson Elementary School, Oxford School District
“National Blue Ribbon schools are models of consistent excellence in teaching and learning, and these schools represent the high-quality education that takes place across Mississippi’s public schools,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “I congratulate every teacher, school leader, student and family member who helped their school achieve this outstanding accomplishment.”
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
The U.S. Department of Education recognizes all schools 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 student groups and all students.
East Hancock Elementary School and Della Davidson Elementary School were recognized as "exemplary high-performing schools.” Woolmarket Elementary School and Brandon Elementary School were recognized as “exemplary achievement gap-closing schools.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona commended the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional and mental health needs.
“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,” Cardona said. “In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children.”
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at https://www.nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/.
Jean Cook, APR
Director of Communication