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Congratulations to Blakely Elementary: National Blue Ribbon School

Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary School named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education

October 1, 2018 — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized 349 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018, including Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary School in the Bainbridge Island School District. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance.

“This is a well-deserved honor for Blakely Elementary,” said BISD Superintendent Peter Bang-Knudsen. “I am incredibly proud of the students and staff for their hard work and dedication. I am always impressed with what Blakely accomplishes and this award validates the student-centered approach that Blakely has embraced for many years."

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. All schools are honored in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  •         Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. This is the category where Blakely was recognized.


  •         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 over the past five years.

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students' accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees.

Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools. In 2004, Woodward Middle School received the top honor. On November 7-8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 300 public and 49 private school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

Blakely Elementary is the second BISD school to receive the award. Woodward Middle School received the National Blue Ribbon Award in 2004.

Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at