Franklin East Elementary School in the Mesa Unified School District is one five Arizona schools selected as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.
The school, 1753 E. Eighth Ave. in Mesa, also won in 2011.
“Franklin East Elementary School is a back-to-basics school that focuses on a traditional education with an emphasis on each learner being given the opportunity to excel. Earning our second National Blue Ribbon in the last 10 years, we continue to show that our students thrive in an environment built on a specific educational program which was conceived and developed with significant parental input,” according to information on the school at nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov. “As a school of choice, Franklin East offers our community an alternative approach to education; a positive learning environment wherein students become equipped with the necessary skills to be decision makers and problem solvers.”
The other Arizona schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:
U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona recently recognized 325 schools as 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.
“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,” Secretary Cardona said in the release. “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 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 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. 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.