KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) – Two Miami Valley schools were named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021 by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

Orchard Park Elementary School in Kettering received the recognition along with Minster Elementary School in Minster. The award is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, according to a release. A total of 325 schools were recognized for 2021.

The 16 Ohio schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:

  • Bay Village – Westerly Elementary School, Bay Village City School District
  • Beachwood – Hilltop Elementary School, Beachwood City School District
  • Canton – Whipple Heights Elementary School, Perry Local School District
  • Cincinnati – Mariemont Junior High School, Mariemont City School District
  • Cincinnati – Montgomery Elementary School, Sycamore Community City School District
  • Dublin – Dublin Jerome High School, Dublin City School District
  • Dublin – Saint Brigid Of Kildare Elementary School, Diocese of Columbus
  • Girard – Girard Intermediate Middle School, Girard City School District
  • Granville – Granville High School, Granville Exempted Village School District
  • Hudson – Seton Catholic School, Diocese of Cleveland
  • Kettering – Orchard Park Elementary School, Kettering City School District
  • Logan – Hocking Hills Elementary School, Logan-Hocking Local School District
  • Maria Stein – Marion Local Elementary School, Marion Local School District
  • Minster – Minster Elementary School, Minster Local School District
  • Steubenville – Pugliese Elementary School West, Steubenville City School District
  • Whitehouse – Fallen Timbers Middle School, Anthony Wayne Local School District

“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,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

The Department 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

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year.