The U.S. Department of Education has recognized six schools in Minnesota as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021. 

The honor is based on overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups. 

The Minnesota schools honored with this coveted recognition are: 

  • Barnesville Elementary, Barnesville Public School District for being an exemplary high performing school.
  • McKinley Elementary, Anoka-Hennepin Public School District for being an exemplary achievement gap-closing school.
  • Minnetonka West Middle School, Minnetonka Public School District for being an exemplary achievement gap-closing school.
  • Roosevelt Middle School, Anoka-Hennepin Public School District for being an exemplary achievement gap-closing school.
  • St. Croix Preparatory Middle School, St. Croix Preparatory Academy (Charter School) for being an exemplary high performing school.
  • Twin Lakes Elementary, Elk River Public School District for being an exemplary achievement gap-closing school.

“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,” Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”

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Minnesota Education Commissioner Heather Mueller said the recognition acknowledges educators, staff and families for their "important work."

“As we navigate the third school year impacted by COVID-19, it is more important than ever to ensure that we are meeting the academic, social-emotional and mental health needs of our students, staff and families,” Mueller said.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is in its 39th year and has recognized more than 9,000 schools nationwide.

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