Skip to main content


September 21, 2021
For More Information Contact:

JP O'Hare

(518) 474-1201



U.S. Department of Education Honors 19 New York Schools as 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Eighteen New York public and charter schools and one nonpublic school have achieved this honor and recognition by USDOE.

“The Board of Regents and I congratulate the 2021 Blue Ribbon schools for their outstanding accomplishment,” Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said. “This achievement is particularly significant considering the challenges created by the pandemic. The Board of Regents commends the teachers, staff, administrators and particularly the students for their commitment to excellence."  

“Through perseverance to provide welcoming environments for all students, these schools are innovating the delivery of educational opportunities and opening the door to even greater teaching and learning,” State Education Commissioner Betty A. Rosa said. “These schools are working to engage and empower students and serve as models for all New York state schools.”

USDOE’s press release follows:

U.S. Department of Education
Office of Communications & Outreach, Press Office   
400 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202                 

Press Office, (202) 401-1576 or


19 New York Schools Named 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools

U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, including 19 schools in New York. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip, while visiting an awardee school, Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School, in Palatine, Illinois.

The New York schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:

  • Ballston Spa – Malta Avenue Elementary School, Ballston Spa Central School District.
  • Bayside – Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74, New York City Geographic District #26.
  • Briarcliff Manor – Briarcliff High School, Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District.
  • Bronx – Icahn Charter School 3, Icahn Charter School 3.
  • Brooklyn – PS 249 Caton (The), New York City Geographic District #17.
  • Brooklyn – The School for Future Leaders, New York City Geographic District #20.
  • Castleton-on-Hudson – Green Meadow Elementary School, East Greenbush Central School District.
  • Commack – Commack High School, Commack Union Free School District.
  • Fayetteville – Fayetteville Elementary School, Fayetteville-Manlius Central School District.
  • Fonda – Fonda-Fultonville K-4 School, Fonda-Fultonville Central School District.
  • Glen Head – North Shore Senior High School, North Shore Central School District.
  • Jericho – Jericho Senior High School, Jericho Union Free School District.
  • Lawrence – Rambam Mesivta High School, Lawrence Union Free School District.
  • Merrick – Sanford H Calhoun High School, Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District.
  • Mount Sinai – Robert M. Grable Jr. Mount Sinai High School, Mount Sinai Union Free School District.
  • PS 234 Independence School, New York City Geographic District # 2.
  • PS 290 Manhattan New School, New York City Geographic District # 2.
  • PS 41 Greenwich Village, New York City Geographic District # 2.
  • Pleasantville – Pleasantville High School, Pleasantville Union Free School District.

“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”

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. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

The Department recognizes all schools 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 student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools 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.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Photographs and brief descriptions of the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available on the National Blue Ribbon Schools web page.