The U.S. Department of Education has honored eight Missouri schools as 2017 Blue Ribbon Schools. The national award recognizes schools that perform at high academic levels (top 15 percent in the state based on assessment scores and graduation rates) or that perform at high levels while serving a significant proportion of disadvantaged students (top 15 percent in progress toward reducing the achievement gap).
The 2017 Missouri Blue Ribbon Schools are:
• Atlanta Elementary, Atlanta C-3 School District
• Chesterfield Elementary, Rockwood R-VI School District
• Fox Hill Elementary, North Kansas City 74 School District
• Mallinckrodt Academy of Gifted Instruction, St. Louis City School District
• Mark Twain Elementary, Brentwood School District
• Rock Port Elementary, Rock Port R-II School District
• University Academy-Upper, University Academy Charter
• Voy Spears, Jr. Elementary, Blue Springs R-IV School District
“These schools have done outstanding work in preparing their students to succeed,” said Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven. “Congratulations to the school leaders, teachers, students and communities on this national recognition.”
Earlier this year, the schools were honored as Gold Star Schools under a program established by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1991. The schools were then nominated as Blue Ribbon Schools. The nomination criteria for both programs are the same.
Representatives from the Blue Ribbon Schools may attend the national awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. This year’s ceremony is scheduled for Nov. 6 and 7.
Mr. Craig Walker, Superintendent of the Rock Port R-II School District, submitted the following:
The announcement by Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, that the Rock Port Elementary is a National Blue Ribbon School speaks to the sustained excellence in the classroom and confirms our commitment to the district vision, “To be a source of inspiration and knowledge for all.” To be one of the 341 school districts in the nation recognized for superior academic achievement in Language Arts and Mathematics is a great honor and indicates the quality of education that we provide here at Rock Port.  The Rock Port School District has many positive characteristics that allow our students to excel on a yearly basis:
• Unwavering support and partnership with our community.
• Highly qualified and motivated staff that look to inspire and create an atmosphere of intrigue for learners.
• Support staff, certified staff, administration, and Board of Education that consistently make decisions based on what is best for our kids.
• Last but not least, students who accept classroom challenges and push themselves to be better each and every day.
We are excited for all our students, staff and community members to receive this distinguished award. The Rock Port School District has been and will continue to be a great place for kids. This is a great honor and community, faculty and students should take great pride in being recognized as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School. Go Big Blue!