Each year, the U.S. Department of Education recognizes a cohort of exemplary schools from around the country as National Blue Ribbon Schools. Schools are honored either as Exemplary High-Performing Schools, for top academic achievement in each state, or as Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools, for exceptional growth in closing achievement gaps between student groups.
These schools have also demonstrated remarkable resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their students and communities while still achieving high levels of academic excellence. According to new data on enrollment, charter schools experienced a 7% boost in enrollment between the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years—in part because of the nimbleness and flexibility charter schools have shown during the pandemic.
This year we celebrate the 15 charter schools honored as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools:
- Soldotna Montessori Charter School (Soldotna, AK)
- Desert View Academy (Yuma, AZ)
- Elevate School (San Diego, CA)
- University High School (Fresno, CA)
- BASIS DC Public Charter School (Washington, DC)
- AcadeMir Charter School Middle (Miami, FL)
- Charter School of Excellence at Davie (Pembroke Pines, FL)
- Somerset Academy Silver Palms (Homestead, FL)
- Terrace Community Middle School (Tampa, FL)
- Benjamin Franklin High School (New Orleans, LA)
- Lake Forest Elementary Charter School (New Orleans, LA)
- St. Croix Preparatory Academy Middle School (Stillwater, MN)
- Pinecrest Academy of Nevada Inspirada (Henderson, NV)
- Icahn Charter School 3 (Bronx, NY)
- Sallie B Howard Charter School (Wilson, NC)
Congratulations to all the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools and thank you for your commitment to excellence and equity!
Fiona Sheridan-McIver is the senior manager of government relations at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.