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MONTANA - Two Montana schools earned a national distinction along with 325 other schools in the country Tuesday.

U.S. Department of Education (DOE) is awarding Ridge View Elementary School, in Belgrade, and Cascade Elementary School, in Cascade, as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.

To receive a National Blue Ribbon Schools award, schools are judged on their overall academic performance or their improvements on narrowing the gaps among student subgroubs, a release from DOE said. 

The DOE said more than 9,000 schools received an estimated total of 10,000 awards in the thirty-ninth year of the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. Each year, up to 420 schools can be nominated.

“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,” DOE Secretary Miguel Cardona said in the release. “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.”

Sen. Steve Daines said the following in a release from his office:

“A big congratulations to both Cascade Elementary and Ridge View Elementary on being named National Blue Ribbon Schools! Montana teachers are so important to shaping the minds of Montana’s youngest and brightest. I’m glad to see all of the hard work of these great Montana teachers and Montana students recognized. Congratulations.”

Sen. Jon Tester said the following in a release from his office:

“Montana’s public education system is one of the best in the nation, and the work done at Cascade Elementary exemplifies the highest standard of learning for Montana’s schools. I’m proud of the teachers, students, families, and administrators that worked hard to earn this national recognition, and we can all rest easier knowing that the future of Montana is in good hands.”

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