CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — Three West Virginia schools were selected as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools honorees.
Crescent Elementary School in Beckley, Criss Elementary School in Parkersburg and Rock Branch Elementary School in Nitro were selected by the U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), and have been recognized for being among West Virginia’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally standardized tests.
“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. 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.”U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona
“The National Blue Ribbon Schools recognition is an incredible honor, and I am thrilled three West Virginia schools are being recognized for their academic excellence and their tireless work to provide all students with a great education, regardless of their background. Congratulations to Crescent Elementary, Criss Elementary and Rock Branch Elementary schools and thank you to all the teachers and faculty who have worked to create exemplary learning environments for our West Virginia students.”U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)
“Congratulations to the students, faculty, and staff at Crescent Elementary, Criss Elementary, and Rock Branch Elementary schools on this incredible honor. Ensuring West Virginia’s students have access to a quality education is so important to our state’s future, and these schools went above and beyond to create an environment for students to learn and thrive. I’m so proud of the hard work and dedication of everyone at the three Blue Ribbon schools recognized this year, and know they will continue to be exemplary models for student excellence and achievement for years to come.”U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)
The state’s Blue Ribbon honorees join 325 public schools nationwide that earned the recognition this year. These schools are among more than 9,000 schools to make the award over the past 39 years.
The USDE has issued approximately 10,000 awards during this time, and schools are eligible to be considered for nomination again after five years.
“It is an understatement to say these schools have gone above and beyond to earn the National Blue Ribbon award. The fact they were able to participate in this competitive process during this time while still caring for their children is impressive. As a former school administrator, I know the learning, love and long-standing dedication we pour into the lives of our students. These three schools have illustrated that during the pandemic, the greater the need of their children, the greater their work and devotion to their school and community. On behalf of the State Board, I congratulate them all for a job well-done.”President Miller Hall
“These awards are another reminder of the role our schools play in the lives of our children, schools and communities. The West Virginia Department of Education is so very pleased with the extraordinary commitment to student health, progress and well-being these schools have exemplified to earn this national honor. They have faced incredible challenges to not only teach our children, but also to care for them during interruptions to in-person learning and inconsistent school schedules. Yet, they have excelled locally and nationally to earn this most-coveted national education recognition.”Superintendent of Schools W. Clayton Burch