These 5 Alabama schools rock—find out why

Orange Beach Elementary School
School spirit. Photo via Orange Beach Elementary School’s Facebook

Get ready to applaud, because five Alabama schools have been recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.

What is a National Blue Ribbon School?

They are schools recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which honors outstanding public and nonpublic schools that represent the full diversity of American Schools.

Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has honored approximately 10,000 awards to over 9,000 schools.

To be nominated as a National Blue Ribbon School, the Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • 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.

Now, on to the Winners

Mt. Laurel Elementary School
Mt. Laurel Elementary School students learning about their school being a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021. Photo via Mt Laurel Elementary School & PTO

Brewton Elementary School 

Location: Brewton, Alabama
Nomination Category:
Exemplary High Performing Schools
Principal: Barry S. Wood
Number of Students: 456

Hall-Kent Elementary School

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Nomination Category:
Exemplary High Performing Schools
Principal:
Kiana Billings Coleman
Number of Students:
664

MacMillan International Academy

Location: Montgomery, Alabama
Nomination Category: Exemplary High Performing Schools
Principal: Faith Goshay
Number of Students: 344

Orange Beach Elementary School

Location: Orange Beach, Alabama
Nomination Category:
Exemplary High Performing Schools
Principal: Ryan Moss (at time of nomination)
Number of Students: 509

Mt. Laurel Elementary School

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Nomination Category:
Exemplary High Performing Schools
Principal: Celita Carmichael
Number of Students: 511

Award Requirements

Hall-Kent Elementary School
Happy student and staff. Photo via Hall-Kent Elementary School

In order to become a National Blue Ribbon School, there are several requirements that must be met. Some include:

  • School configuration must include one or more of grades K-12. 
  • School has been in existence for five full years.
  • School has not received the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award in the past five years.
  • School has no history of testing irregularities, nor charges of irregularities brought against it at the time of nomination. 

Benefits of the National Blue Ribbon Award

Bragging rights, of course! But that’s not all. Schools that receive this prestigious award benefit in a number of ways. Some include:

  • Attracting new business partners, financial assistance and volunteers.
  • Increased number of student applications.
  • More commitment and involvement of staff and parents.

Principals and teacher leaders are also called on to give presentations at state, regional and professional meetings about practices that have made a difference for their students and faculty.

Congrats to all of Alabama’s schools who received this prestigious award! 👏🏻

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Patience Itson
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