Three NC Schools Earn Blue Ribbon Recognition from the U.S. Department of Education


Three North Carolina public schools today were named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020 by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The three schools are among 367 schools nationwide recognized this year for their overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps.

North Carolina public schools receiving this prestigious recognition are:

  • Piedmont IB Middle School, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
  • Cross Creek Early College, Cumberland County Schools
  • PSRC Early College at RCC, Public Schools of Robeson County

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” Secretary DeVos said. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

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.

State Superintendent Mark Johnson praised North Carolina’s three recipients for setting high expectations for all students and helping them achieve at high levels.

“The teachers, other educators and parents in these schools should be proud of this recognition,” Johnson said. “These schools are demonstrating what’s best about public education in North Carolina: a clear focus on teaching and learning that delivers results for students.”

Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. In North Carolina, a total of 156 schools have been recognized as Blue Ribbon schools since the program’s inception in 1982.

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.

North Carolina’s three winning schools are recognized this year for the Blue Ribbon designation were selected as Exemplary High Performing Schools.

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 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13, when the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees are recognized for their achievement. Each will receive their plaques and flags via mail.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at

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