Two West Virginia schools have been recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools. Monongah Middle School in Marion County and Panther Creek Elementary School in Nicholas County are two of only 286 schools nationwide named as 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The program recognizes schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap or whose students achieve at very high levels. The schools will be honored later this year in Washington, D.C. "The students, teachers and parents from these schools deserve to be commended," said state Superintendent of Schools Jim Phares in a news release. "Their hard work, dedication and commitment to improving teaching and learning can serve as models for others. Their leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards, they stay close to the real action of teaching and learning."
To qualify, public schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds and dramatically improve student performance on state tests or have students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests. Approximately 7,000 public and private elementary, middle and high schools have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools since the program began in 1982.