Eight New York City schools have been named 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Education announced Thursday.
Of the 362 schools awarded the honor nationwide, federal officials picked four city charter schools and four district schools, sprinkled across all boroughs except Staten Island. The same number of city schools received the honor during the previous school year.
Schools that earn the Blue Ribbon honor are first nominated by the state’s top education official. They must rank among the top 15% on state assessments, in graduation rates, and in closing academic gaps between the general student population and students from different demographic groups.
Schools don’t earn financial rewards for the honor, but it’s considered a big accomplishment that some schools touted Thursday after the news was released.
It is with great honor and pride that we announce that our school, PS 253-The Magnet School of Multicultural Humanities, has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2019! #Team253 @NYCSchools @DOEChancellor @D21_Community @ChalkbeatNY https://t.co/fFDZMroxIZ— PS 253 News (@MissGina253) September 26, 2019
The schools run the gamut so far as student body diversity is concerned. For example, at P.S. 101 in Forest Hills — a 2019 Blue Ribbon honoree that describes itself as a “socially conscious environment” — 20% of students were black or Hispanic, as of last school year, and 14 percent of all children came from low-income families.
By contrast, at another 2019 Blue Ribbon school, Achievement First Bushwick Charter School, 86% of students were from low-income families and more than 96 percent of students were black or Hispanic during the 2018-2019 school year. Achievement First schools tout their development of new teachers and principals, as well as a “rigorous” curriculum geared toward college readiness.
New York City’s schools were among the 19 recognized statewide.
“The schools being recognized today have achieved a standard of excellence through hard work and dedication that is rightfully being honored,” New York’s Interim State Education Commissioner Beth Berlin said in a statement. “Through perseverance to provide welcoming environments for all students, these schools show how increasing opportunities opens the door to even greater achievement.”
Below is a list of the schools honored on Thursday:
Academic Leadership Charter School, Bronx
Achievement First Bushwick Charter School, Brooklyn
Hellenic Classical Charter School, Brooklyn
P.S. 101Q The School in the Gardens, Queens
P.S. 40 Augustus Saint-Gaudens Elementary, Manhattan
PS 253 The Magnet School of Multicultural Humanities, Brooklyn
PS 59 Beekman Hill International School, Manhattan
South Bronx Classical Charter School II, Bronx