Nine Minnesota schools recognized for academic excellence, closing achievement gap in 2023

The U.S. Department of Education has announced its 40th annual list of National Blue Ribbon Schools recognized for overall academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, with nine total Minnesota schools making the list for 2023.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, awarding more than 10,000 awards to over 9,700 schools throughout its history with the honor.

The list honored 353 total schools in 2023, with the following Minnesota schools being nominated for the status:

  • Argyle – Stephens-Argyle Elementary School, Stephen-Argyle Central Schools.
  • Chanhassen – Chanhassen Elementary School, Eastern Carver County Schools.
  • Eden Prairie – Oak Point Elementary School, Eden Prairie Public School District.
  • Edina – Countryside Elementary School, Edina Public School District.
  • Lake Crystal – Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Elementary School, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial School District.
  • Plymouth – Wayzata East Middle School, Wayzata Public School District.
  • Rochester – Folwell Elementary School, Rochester Public School District.
  • Saint Paul – Nova Classical Academy Upper School, Nova Classical Academy Charter School.
  • Victoria – Holy Family Catholic High School, Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

"The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona in a statement. "The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally."

National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as, "models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation," according to the program. A National Blue Ribbon School flag in a school’s entryway or on a flagpole is often a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.   

According to the announcement, data from several sources is, "used to drive instruction and every student strives for success."

Up to 420 schools are nominated each year, and private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.