F.C. Schools Earn 2014 National Blue Ribbon Honors

Stephen DeCelle (center) and Sofia Valinote (left) of Mrs. Turner's 6th grade class at St. James Catholic School. (Courtesy Photo)
Stephen DeCelle (center) and Sofia Valinote (left) of Mrs. Turner’s 6th grade class at St. James Catholic School. (Courtesy Photo)

Two Falls Church schools, Haycock Elementary School and St. James Catholic School, were named 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced on Tuesday. The Blue Ribbon Scholars Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate gains in student achievement.

“I’m proud that Haycock Elementary School and Saint James Catholic School were named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education today,” said U.S. Senator Tim Kaine. “Schools that provide academic rigor and opportunity for all children strengthen not only their student bodies, but our Commonwealth as a whole.”

The Council for American Private Education nominates private schools for the Blue Ribbon each year. St. James was one of three PK – 8 private schools in Virginia designated as Blue Ribbon schools.

Haycock Elementary was one of seven public schools in Virginia that earned the Blue Ribbon designation. Steven R. Staples, Superintendent of Public Instruction for the Virginia Department of Education, said the following about that achievement:

“Despite increased rigor in the commonwealth’s standards, assessments and accountability benchmarks, each of these schools has maintained full state accreditation while meeting all federal benchmarks,” Staples said. “I applaud the principals, teachers and staff who are responsible for the recognition these schools are receiving.”

The U.S. Department of Education will honor all of the nation’s Blue Ribbon schools during a conference and awards ceremony Nov. 10 – 11 in Washington, D.C.