Central Park at Morning Star Elementary in Bentonville has been recognized as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
The school was one of four Arkansas schools selected in 2013.
“The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve at very high levels and/or where the achievement gap in narrowing,” according to the Arkansas Department of Education. “The Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is part of a larger U. S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices.”
The other Arkansas schools named as a 2013 Blue Ribbon School were Bergman Elementary School (Bergman, Ark.), Ellen Smith Elementary School (Conway Public School District), and Immaculate Conception School in Fort Smith.
Oklahoma public schools receiving the designation in 2013 were Central High Elementary School (Marlow, Okla.), Tulsa Eisenhower International Elementary School (Tulsa), and Wayland Bonds Elementary School (Oklahoma City).
The four Arkansas public and private schools were among 286 schools – 236 public and 50 private – recognized. Arkansas’ three received the “Exemplary High Performing” designation, which means they have reading/English language arts and mathematics test scores that rank among the top 15% in the state. Exemplary Improving Schools, the other possible designation, have at least 40% of students from disadvantaged backgrounds who have demonstrated significant improvement on state tests.
The National Award Ceremony for the 2013 winners will be held Nov. 18-19 at the Omi-Shoreham Hotel in Washington, DC.