Two Tucson schools named 2021 Blue Ribbon Schools

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)
Published: Sep. 21, 2021 at 11:55 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 21, 2021 at 1:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, including Jacob C. Fruchthendler Elementary and Mesquite Elementary schools.

The distinction is awarded to schools based on their overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps in the classroom.

“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,” said Secretary Cardona.

The secretary made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip, while visiting an awardee school in Illinois.

The Arizona schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools are:

  • Mesa – Franklin East Elementary School, Mesa Public Schools.
  • Tolleson – University High School, Tolleson Union High School District.
  • Tucson – Jacob C. Fruchthendler Elementary School, Tucson Unified School District.
  • Tucson – Mesquite Elementary School, Vail Unified School District.
  • Yuma – Desert View Academy, Juniper Tree Academy School District

All schools in Arizona were recognized as “Exemplary High-Performing Schools,” as opposed to “Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools.”

During the announcement, Secretary Cardona spoke about the hardships many schools faced during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children,” Secretary Cardona said. “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.”

Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has granted around 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools. The recognition certifies the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools. In return, students are given the opportunity to master challenging and engaging content.

To see a full list of 2021 National Blue Ribbon recipients, CLICK HERE.

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