It’s been eight years since a high school in Connecticut has been nominated for the national Blue Ribbon School designation. This year, there are four from the state, including Weston High School.
“It’s really quite an honor to be recognized, even to be nominated,” said Colleen Palmer, superintendent of Weston schools.
Weston High School is one of just 1,600 schools nationwide — elementary, middle, and high schools — to be nominated for the Blue Ribbon distinction. The school was asked by the state education department to apply for the award.
Only a “very select group of schools is chosen each year” to apply, Dr. Palmer said. “It’s a truly distinct honor.”
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School Program has been around for about 30 years. It recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools with very high performance levels or where significant improvements have been made in student achievement.
Since its inception, the program has chosen only about 7,000 schools across the country to receive the Blue Ribbon award.
The invitation to apply is “an outstanding indicator of the recognition our school district” is moving in the right direction, Dr. Palmer said.
The application process is rather lengthy. Dr. Palmer said the school district has already begun to “document the data that supports that we’re exemplary and high performing.” Some of that data includes state standardized testing scores, and SAT and AP scores, she said.
If selected, Weston administrators would be invited to accept the award in Washington, D.C., in the spring. A Blue Ribbon School flag/banner would be given to the school.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, “a National Blue Ribbon Schools flag waving overhead has become a trademark of excellence, a symbol of quality recognized by everyone, from parents to policy makers, in thousands of communities.”