Newport News school earns honor from U.S. Secretary of Education

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Deer Park Elementary was named a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.

According to the Department of Education, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors K-12 schools that are “academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.”

Deer Park Elementary was one of seven Virginia public schools to receive the honor.

The school also earned the Board of Education Excellence Award.

Schools are chosen for the award based on state assessments or closing achievement gaps between students over the past five years while increasing graduation rates. Criteria for private schools are based on national standardized tests and high school graduation rates.

“This is a great honor for these schools,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “I congratulate the teachers, the principals, the support staff and the students for their hard work and success.”

Other Virginia National Blue Ribbon Schools include Coeburn Middle in Wise County, Green Valley Elementary in Roanoke County, George W. Carver Elementary in Richmond, Springfield Estates Elementary in Fairfax County, Tunstall High in Pittsylvania County and Watauga Elementary in Washington County.

The U.S. Department of Education will honor all 329 of the nation’s 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools during a conference and awards ceremony November 7 and 8 in Washington, DC.