New Buffalo High School.

NEW BUFFALO — New Buffalo Senior High School was one of 13 Michigan schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Michigan Department of Education announced on Sept. 26.

“I congratulate these schools for earning this distinguished national honor,” State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice said in a news release. “The hard work and focus of the students and educators at our Blue Ribbon schools serve as a model for every Michigan school striving for greater student achievement.”

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and non-public elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards. Michigan’s schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels. Public schools are nominated by each state’s education department. Non-public schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

New Buffalo Superintendent Dr. Jeff Leslie credited “Exemplary academic performance” for the honor.

“It’s really been a whole systemic effort to get us to this point,” he said, mentioning support of the LRSB, programs implemented by the school board, the BASE after-school program, going one-to-one with technology, various curriculum moves, and “the great job that our teachers have done in the classroom,” as contributing factors.

Principal Wayne Butler said of the 13 Blue Ribbon schools recognized in Michigan, nine are at the elementary, level, three are high schools (New Buffalo the only non-charter, non-magnet institution) and one is a middle school.

He said the recognition is “a very proud moment” that reflects great work by staff and strong support from the community.

The U.S. Department of Education will honor the 362 National Blue Ribbon Schools at a recognition ceremony scheduled for Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C. Each school receives a banner and plaque. The award flag gracing a school’s building is a widely-recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

Leslie and Butler said a local community forum is being planned to follow the ceremony in Washington, D.C.

For more information on the National Blue Ribbon School program, visit: // www.ed.gov/nationalblue ribbonschools.

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