Heck-Quaw Elementary School principle Lori Degenhart announced this week that Heck-Quaw has been designated an Exemplary High Performing Schools National Blue Ribbon School for 2018 by U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

Heck-Quaw is one of only 349 schools in the nation and the only school in Montana to be recognized in 2018.

The recognition is based on a school's overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

"I'm pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School," said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. "We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students' accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs."

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 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools. On November 7-8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 300 public and 49 private school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

All schools are honored 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 over the past five years.