Six New Jersey public schools, as well as four non-public schools, have been named “National Blue Ribbon Schools,” by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, particularly among disadvantaged students.

The six public schools that earned the Blue Ribbon designation include:

  • Academy for Performing Arts (Union County Vocational School District)
  • Essex Fells School (Essex Fells Borough School District)
  • Lyncrest Elementary School (Fair Lawn Borough School District)
  • Cedar Hill Elementary School (Montville School District)
  • Central Jersey College Prep Charter School (located in Somerset)
  • Cranbury School (Cranbury Township School District)

National Program The New Jersey schools are among 329 named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors schools based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools with high-performing students, as measured by state assessments (or in the case of private schools, that score well on nationally-normed tests); or 2) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are honored at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where each receives a plaque and flag to signify its exemplary status.

More information is available here.