Redwater Junior High Honored with the Prestigious National Blue Ribbon School Award

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 367 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Secretary DeVos. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

The Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:
• Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
• Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. While we regret not having the opportunity to celebrate in person, given the current situation regarding COVID-19, we will celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees in the ways that we are able, and they will each receive their plaques and flags via mail.

We are excited to announce the United States Department of Education notified Redwater Junior High we have been named a National Blue Ribbon School. We are honored by this national recognition and to say we are proud of our staff, students, principal, and community is a tremendous understatement. The education of our youth is the single most important task in our society and at Redwater Junior High, we truly focus on ‘Every Student, Every Day’ keeping standards high. CONGRATULATIONS and Thank You to our Junior High teachers and staff, Mrs. Kim Cody, Principal, Mrs. Lee Ann Corbin, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, our Board of Trustees and all our students! It is another Great Day to Be a Dragon!
-Dr. Kelly Burns, Superintendent

The RISD Board is honored and extremely excited about our JR High receiving the 2020 National Blue Ribbon School Honor. It is truly a great honor for our community and school to be recognized on the national level. Dr. Burns’ leadership with staff and high standards for education continues to put our students in the best position to succeed. RISD is blessed to have parents, teachers, and students who work together to help enrich and improve the lives of those around them. We would especially like to congratulate and thank Mrs. Cody and her entire JR High staff on this great commendation. We are so thankful for each of them and all the hard work they have done and continue to do to fulfill RISD’s vision: ‘To inspire high personal expectations so ALL will experience their full potential and rise above the ordinary.’
-Matt Knight, Board President

Being nominated for the award is an honor, and to become one of the recipients of the award affirms the hard work and dedication over the past five years from all stakeholders, including past and present members of the RISD Board of Trustees, superintendents, curriculum directors, administrators, counselors, educators, support staff, families, the community, and of course our students. Everyone involved rose to the challenges and demands of rigorous coursework and high expectations.” -Kim Cody, JH Principal

Earning this recognition affirms the hard work taking place at Redwater Junior High and across our district. It is the product of dedicated teachers and staff, supportive parents, and phenomenal students. The path this campus has forged over the past five years has narrowed the achievement gap and improved learning for all students. The high expectations of the teachers and staff, coupled with their caring and supportive attitude, has created a culture of academic success which merits national attention. As the former principal of this campus, I am particularly thrilled for Redwater Junior High. Principal Cody took what I started and put her touch on it. The result of our collaboration is a national award for which I could not be more proud.
-Lee Ann Corbin, Director of Curriculum & Instruction