In its 39-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on just under 7,900 of America’s schools. Schools are only allowed to apply for this prestigious award once every five years, and all private schools must be nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) to be eligible to apply.
All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates. Charlottesville Catholic School was recognized in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category:
- Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels. All private schools recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools must be in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates for each subgroup are at high levels.
Specifically, for the 2013-2014 award year, the U.S. Department of Education strengthened the focus of both categories’ performance criteria around subgroups within a school and improving graduation rates for all students.