News Release

September 26, 2019


Six Nebraska schools have been named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

The U.S. Department of Education recognized the six Nebraska schools for demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels.

The Nebraska schools that were honored are:

  • Columbian Elementary School, Omaha Public Schools in Omaha
  • Elkhorn Middle School, Elkhorn Public Schools in Elkhorn
  • Lincoln Montessori Elementary School, Norfolk Public Schools in Norfolk
  • Sidney High School, Sidney Public Schools in Sidney
  • Mount Michael Benedictine School, Archdiocese of Omaha in Omaha
  • Saint Wenceslaus Catholic School, Archdiocese of Omaha in Omaha

“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “As a National Blue Ribbon School, your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”

“Congratulations to the six Nebraska Blue Ribbon Schools,” said Nebraska Commissioner of Education Matthew Blomstedt. “These schools and their districts exemplify a focus on student success and equity.  These schools demonstrate that focused and committed work leads to growth in educational achievement.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.

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.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

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).

The Department will honor all of the public and private schools on Nov. 14-15 at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

David Jespersen
Public Information Officer, Nebraska Department of Education