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Eight Minnesota schools are among almost 300 across the country to be named National Blue Ribbon Schools, an award recognizing student performance.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are recognized each year by the U.S. Department of Education. This year’s awards, which marked the 39th year of the program, included 297 schools. Both public and nonpublic schools from elementary to high school levels are eligible for the awards.

Of the schools awarded this year, 273 were public schools.

The awards split schools into two categories: Exemplary High-Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools.

Exemplary High-Performing Schools are recognized as among the top in their state for student performance on state and national standardized tests.

Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools have demonstrated the most work toward closing achievement gaps between certain student subgroups and the entire student population.

Among the schools recognized as Exemplary High-Performing Schools are:

  • Seven Hills Preparatory Academy in Bloomington
  • Lowell Elementary School in Brainerd
  • Maple River West Elementary School in Good Thunder
  • Kimberly Lane Elementary School in Plymouth
  • Lincoln K-8 School in Rochester
  • Springfield Elementary School in Springfield

Recognized as Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are:

  • Churchill Elementary School in Cloquet
  • Lake Middle School in Woodbury

“While these Minnesota schools are geographically diverse, they all share core elements of effective schools,” said Minnesota Department of Education Commissioner Heather Mueller in a statement.

“I sincerely congratulate these schools and thank the students, their educators, staff and leaders for serving as examples for all schools in Minnesota.”

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