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SDSA Named National Blue Ribbon School
SDSA Named National Blue Ribbon School
Posted on 09/21/2021
Southern Delaware School of the Arts in Selbyville was one of three schools in Delaware and 325 nationwide to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021.

Overall, it is the Indian River School District’s 11th National Blue Ribbon Award since 2001.

“Being recognized as a Blue Ribbon school is quite an honor for our SDSA family. This award is the result of the dedication of our students and staff to ensure that arts enhances the lives of our entire school community,” said SDSA Principal Travis Bower. “SDSA has always pushed our students to reach new heights and to find a passion of learning through the arts. We want to thank everyone for their hard work and to those who have contributed to the success of our school over the last 23 years. Without your efforts, this achievement would not have been possible.”

“I am extremely proud of the students and staff of the Southern Delaware School of the Arts,” IRSD Superintendent Jay Owens said. “The distinction of being named a National Blue Ribbon School is a high honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the SDSA students, staff and community.”

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. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools. 

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I commend this school and all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

The Department recognizes all schools 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. 
• 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. 

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools 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.

SDSA was a winner in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category. 

The Indian River School District’s other Blue Ribbon Award winners are Selbyville Middle School (2018), East Millsboro Elementary School (2008, 2017), Long Neck Elementary School (2005, 2011), John M. Clayton/Frankford Elementary School (2004, 2014), North Georgetown Elementary School (2006), Phillip C. Showell Elementary School (2003) and Lord Baltimore Elementary School (2001).