ROELAND PARK, Kan. — Eight Missouri schools and four Kansas schools — including two in the Kansas City area — received national recognition Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Education honored the winners of 2023’s National Blue Ribbon School Awards, recognizing a total of 353 U.S. schools for their exemplary test performances or efforts to close achievement gaps between students.

Two schools in the Kansas City area received the national award: Edgerton Elementary School in the Gardner-Edgerton School District and Roesland Elementary School in Shawnee Mission School District.

Two other schools in Kansas — Valley Heights Elementary School in Blue Rapids and Lakeside Elementary School in Cawker City — were also named Blue Ribbon Schools this year.

On the Missouri side, eight schools were named National Blue Ribbon Schools, with majority in the St. Louis area:

  • Betty Wheeler Classical Jr. Academy, St Louis
  • Chesterfield Elementary School, Chesterfield
  • Fort Zumwalt South High School, St. Peters
  • Harry S. Truman Elementary School, Webb City
  • Mallinckrodt A.B.I. Elementary School, St. Louis
  • Mathews Elementary School, Nixa
  • Pierremont Elementary School, Manchester
  • Reed Elementary School, St. Louis

“The leaders, educators and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally,” U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona said in a release.

Created in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon School Program recognizes public, parochial and private learning facilities from across the country. This year, 313 public schools were awarded and 40 non-public schools were awarded.

In 40 years, the National Blue Ribbon School Program has issued about 10,000 awards to over 9,700 schools across the country.

This year, 46 states plus Washington D.C. and the Department of Defense Education Activity were represented in the awards. California boasted the most Blue Ribbon Schools with a total of 33, followed by Texas (29), New York (22), Illinois (20) and Ohio (19).

Schools can be recognized for a Blue Ribbon School Award in one of two performance categories: high achievement as measured “by state assessments or nationally normed tests,” and greatest advancements in closing achievement gaps.

Find a complete list of 2023 winners here.