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BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — More than 300 schools across the United States have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools, including eight in the Bayou State and two in New Orleans.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced the winners, which is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress.

Louisiana schools recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:

  • Baton Rouge – Baton Rouge Magnet High School, East Baton Rouge Parish School System
  • Baton Rouge – Westdale Heights Academic Magnet, East Baton Rouge School System
  • Covington – Saint Paul’s School, Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • Covington – St. Scholastica Academy, Archdiocese of New Orleans
  • Gretna – Gretna No. 2 Academy for Advanced Studies, Jefferson School District
  • Metairie – Airline Park Academy for Advanced Studies, Jefferson School District
  • New Orleans – Benjamin Franklin Magnet High School, Advocates for Academic Excellence in Education
  • New Orleans – Lake Forest Elementary Charter School, NOLA Public School District

In a statement recognizing the schools, Secretary Cardona said:

“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.”

The Department reports schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student 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.