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Nine in Kentucky named National Blue Ribbon Schools including Notre Dame, Saint Thomas in NKY

Nine Kentucky schools are among the 362 public and private, elementary, middle and high schools across the country named 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schoolsby the U.S. Department of Education.

Two are from Northern Kentucky.

For the third time in the school’s history, Notre Dame Academy was named a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Saint Thomas School in Fort Thomas also receive the recognition.

Notre Dame Academy previously received the National Blue Ribbon recognition in 1996 and 2012 and is the first high school within the Diocese of Covington to receive this honor three times. Notre Dame Academy is the only high school in Kentucky and one of only 50 private schools in the country to receive this national recognition for 2019. 

Saint Thomas School, a Catholic elementary school, is the only private elementary school in the greater Cincinnati area to receive the award this year.

The Blue Ribbon award goes to schools based on overall academic excellence or based on progress in closing the achievement gap among student subgroups.

Deborah Flamm, the principal at Saint Thomas, said, “What makes this award prestigious is there are only 50 Catholic schools in the entire U.S. each year who receive the award. We are proud that our students rank in the top 15% of national assessment scores.”

Saint Thomas School

“This is an exciting day for the Notre Dame Academy community,” said NDA Principal Jack VonHandorf. “It is an honor it is to be recognized for the excellence we strive for each day in the classroom and for the exemplary educational experience students receive at Notre Dame Academy,” VonHandorf added. “This is a testament to the ongoing dedication of our faculty and students and their commitment to excellence in education at Notre Dame Academy.”

These schools were certified using 2017-2018 state assessment data and all of them met the Exemplary High Performing Schools criteria to be National Blue Ribbon Schools.

“As the only all-girls school in Northern Kentucky, Notre Dame Academy has a long history of educating young women to make a difference in the world,” said NDA President Laura Koehl. “As a school founded and sponsored by the Sisters of Notre Dame, we believe in an education that combines the timeless wisdom of our Catholic faith with the necessary skills that our students will need to adapt to a continuously changing world. With an innovative approach that integrates academics, arts and athletics, we are molding young women to have a vibrant faith and a passion for learning.”

In its 37-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 their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

• Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

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. 14-15.

More information on the program and a list of past Kentucky winners are available on the USED website.

Celebrating at Notre Dame.

All Kentucky’s 2019 Blue Ribbon Schools

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