(Originally published on Sept. 21, 2021)By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona has announced 2021’s National Blue Ribbon Schools, which include six schools in Minnesota.

Schools are graded on overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Cardona made the announcement at an awardee school in Illinois.

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“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,” Cardona said. “I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. 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.”

The schools recognized in Minnesota are as follows:

  • Barnesville – Barnesville Elementary School, Barnesville School District.
  • Blaine – Roosevelt Middle School, Anoka-Hennepin School District.
  • Elk River – Twin Lakes Elementary School, Elk River School District.
  • Excelsior – Minnetonka West Middle School, Minnetonka School District.
  • Ham Lake – McKinley Elementary School, Anoka-Hennepin School District.
  • Stillwater – St. Croix Preparatory Academy Middle School, St. Croix Preparatory Academy.
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Gov. Tim Walz released a statement following the announcement.

“As a classroom teacher for more than 20 years and as a parent, I am committed to providing a world-class education to all Minnesota students, and that starts with our teachers and school staff who ensure our students are safe, healthy, and learning,” Walz said. “I am so proud of these six Blue Ribbon awardees—the hard work and dedication of these school communities reminds us that the future is bright for Minnesota’s students.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is in its 39th year; 325 schools were recognized in 2021.

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