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Press Release

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

DOE Press Office
(850) 245-0413

Florida’s Blue Ribbon Schools Honored at Ceremony in Washington D.C.

~ National program recognizes schools for outstanding academic achievements ~

TALLAHASSEE – Thirteen Florida public schools were honored at a ceremony in Washington D.C. today for their selection into the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Blue Ribbon Schools (BRS) program. The national program recognizes schools that were either academically superior or demonstrated dramatic gains in overall student achievement in both reading and mathematics. Representatives from each school were presented with a plaque and a flag signifying their NCLB-Blue Ribbon School status.

“I applaud the tremendous efforts of these schools in meeting the rigorous criteria required to achieve Blue Ribbon status,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “Our teachers and schools have managed to cultivate a positive culture of learning where students thrive and are able to succeed.”

The BRS program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, selected schools based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests; and 2) Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests.

The 13 Florida public schools that received this recognition are:

  • Bak Middle School of the Arts – Palm Beach School District
  • Bartow Elementary Academy – Polk School District
  • Bevis Elementary – Hillsborough School District
  • Charter School of Excellence – Broward School District
  • Darnell Cookman Middle School – Duval School District
  • Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School – Brevard School District
  • Freedom 7 Elementary – Brevard School District
  • Gilchrist Elementary – Leon School District
  • James Weldon Johnson Middle School – Duval School District
  • Oriole Beach Elementary – Santa Rosa School District
  • Renaissance Elementary Charter – Dade School District
  • Sea Gate Elementary – Collier School District
  • Waters Edge Elementary – Palm Beach School District

For more information about the BRS program, visit