KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Sam Houston Elementary School is one of six schools in Tennessee to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021. The recognition by the U.S. Department of Education is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups.

Sam Houston Elementary was chosen as an Exemplary High Performing School for its test scores compared to the rest of the state and nation.  

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools from across the country. For the past 39 years, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards.  

The six Tennessee schools recognized this year are:

  • Sam Houston Elementary School, Maryville City Schools
  • Clovercroft Elementary School, Williamson County Schools 
  • Liberty Elementary School, Franklin Special School District 
  • Towne Acres Elementary School, Johnson City Schools 
  • Meigs Middle Magnet School, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools 
  • Thrasher Elementary School, Hamilton County Schools 

“The six Tennessee schools recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools deserve a huge congratulations for their dedication to serving students,” Tennessee Department of Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn said. “Cultivating schools that help to close achievement gaps and promote success for all students is incredibly hard work, and being recognized by this national award is a high honor that is well deserved.”

In all, 325 schools were selected nationwide for the award in 2021. Schools can be chosen as an Exemplary High Performing School or an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School. Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.  

The 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony is in early November in National Harbor, Maryland. Schools will be honored and receive plaques and flags.