When going about town, you may come across local schools proudly displaying large blue ribbons. If you have ever wondered what these signify, they are exhibiting their national recognition as a Blue Ribbon School. At Sign Central in Northern Illinois, we can help the community understand this distinction by crafting Blue Ribbon signage for your school. But first, you need to receive the Blue Ribbon award. Here is a breakdown of how to become a Blue Ribbon school:

what is the national blue ribbon award

What is the National Blue Ribbon Award?

Founded in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is an awards program from the United States Department of Education that annually honors outstanding public and private schools. Based on a school’s overall academic excellence and its progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups, a Blue Ribbon is a prestigious honor that deserves to be proudly publicized.

exterior of a school

Who Can Receive a Blue Ribbon?

Only 420 schools throughout the country can be nominated for the award in a single year. All schools ranging from K-12 grade levels can apply for the award. Public schools receive nominations from their Chief State School Officer and entities such as the Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity. Meanwhile, the Council of American Private Education conducts its own identification and nomination process for submitting non-public school nominees. A school can only be nominated for the award once every five years. Based on the number of students and schools in the state, every state has a quota on the number of nominees it can have.

classroom with chairs

Winning the Award

Attaining the Blue Ribbon award is considered the highest achievement an American school can receive. When awarding the accolade to schools, the Department of Education is validating the tireless work of everyone involved in a single institution: educators, students, parents, and communities. To be an honoree, your school must strive for exemplary success in one of two categories: astounding performance on state and national assessments, or being one of the top-performing schools in achievement gap-closing.

kids happy on the playground

What Blue Ribbons Can Do

By being honored as a National Blue Ribbon institution, your school becomes a model for other educators throughout the United States. The effective teaching practices employed at your school serve as a model for others. On top of this, receiving this distinction often brings more media coverage which can lead to more support and aid for your school and community.

If you go the extra mile for your students and staff to the point where you are honored as a Blue Ribbon School, then you deserve to show it off. Let the world know about your great work by hanging signs that serve as a cheerful reminder of your accomplishments. At Sign Central, we specialize in a variety of Blue Ribbon School flags and signage such as full cover vinyl banners, aluminum signs, and interior display signs! To get your Blue Ribbon School sign, contact us today!