(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – The U. S. Department of Education (USED) named five Kentucky public schools as 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence.

The five Kentucky schools and their districts are:

  • Gray Middle School (Boone County)
  • Johnson Elementary (Laurel County)
  • Moyer Elementary (Fort Thomas Independent)
  • Schaffner Traditional Elementary (Jefferson County)
  • Southwest Calloway Elementary (Calloway County)

The Kentucky schools are among the 329 public and private, elementary, middle and high schools across the country recognized this year. There also are five private schools in Kentucky named as part of the 2016 cohort of Blue Ribbon Schools.

In its 34-year history, the national Blue Ribbon Schools program has become a trademark of excellence and a symbol of exemplary teaching and learning recognized by everyone from parents to policymakers.

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools are among the state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Various student group performance and high school graduation rates also are at the highest levels.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among the state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students over the past five years. Student group performance and high school graduation rates for each group are at high levels.

“Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools are great examples of what can happen when there is attention to equity, achievement and integrity at the school level,” Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt said. “Their focus on serving all students, creating a culture of highly effective teaching and learning and taking an honest look at how they can continuously improve have earned them this honor.

“Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools represent educational excellence and serve as models for schools across Kentucky.”

Representatives from each of Kentucky’s Blue Ribbon Schools will join those from other states at a recognition ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7-8.

Since USED revamped the Blue Ribbon program in 2003, 59 Kentucky public schools have been designated Blue Ribbon Schools with 93 public schools named Blue Ribbon Schools over the life of the program. More information on the program and a list of past Kentucky winners are available here.