Wheatridge Middle School in Gardner has earned some top-flight national recognition.
It’s been designated as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Wheatridge is also the only Kansas school in the Kansas City area to reach blue-ribbon status.
School administrators, students, and officials from the Gardner-Edgerton School District, got the official word from Department of Education on Wednesday, prompting an all-school assembly and celebration.
The award, the highest academic award presented by the education department, is based on a school’s overall academic excellence or its progress in closing achievement gaps in reading and math. The program, now in its 34th year, recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools.
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This year, Wheatridge was one of 329 schools receiving Blue Ribbon awards.
In Kansas, three other schools were recognized: Challenger Intermediate School in Goddard, Chanute Elementary in Chanute, and McKinley Intermediate Elementary in Abilene.
In Missouri, 11 schools made the Blue Ribbon list, including William Yates and Lucy Franklin elementary schools in the Blue Springs School District, and Chapel Hill Elementary in the North Kansas City School District.
Wheatridge is the second school in the Gardner-Edgerton district to receive the Blue Ribbon award. In 2011, Sunflower Elementary was honored.