Six schools in Kansas were named Thursday as National Blue Ribbon Schools for excellence in academia. The Blue Ribbon distinction is considered one of the more prestigious education awards in the nation.

“I’m proud of these schools for receiving an award that reflects the schools’ commitment to accelerating student achievement and preparing students for success,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “It’s also encouraging to see recognition for schools across the state.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award recognizes academic excellence and progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, and affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 


Kansas award recipients

City: Holyrood

School: Central Plains Elementary School-Holyrood

District: Central Plains School District


City: Shawnee

School: Clear Creek Elementary School

District: Unified School District No. 232 (De Soto)


City: Shawnee Mission

School: Corinth Elementary School

District: Shawnee Mission Public Schools District


City: Bucyrus

School: Holy Rosary – Wea Catholic School

District: Archdiocese of Kansas City Kansas Schools District


City: Hays

School: Kathryn O’Loughlin McCarthy Elementary School

District: U.S.D. 489 Hays Kansas School District

City: Overland Park

School: Lakewood Elementary School

District: Blue Valley School District


Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 9,000 schools. On November 14 and 15, Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education will celebrate with 312 public and 50 non-public school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup 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 School 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 (CAPE).