They are among only 23 private or religious schools in the country to receive this honor. Two are receiving this distinction for the second time.
Saint Andrew Catholic School in Newtown (Bucks County), Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic School in Yardley (Bucks County), Saint Mary Catholic School in Schwenksville (Montgomery County), and Saint Norbert Catholic School in Paoli (Chester County) were selected as part of the 2021 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools
Saint Andrew Catholic School in Newtown (Bucks County), Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic School in Yardley (Bucks County), Saint Mary Catholic School in Schwenksville (Montgomery County), and Saint Norbert Catholic School in Paoli (Chester County) were selected as part of the 2021 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools in an announcement made by Miguel A. Cardona, Secretary of the United States Department of Education (USDOE), on September 21st.
The Archdiocesan schools are four of only 325 schools total and among just 23 private schools selected nationally. Each school was chosen for this honor based on exemplary high performance. One of the four received National Blue Ribbon School designation for the first time. Saint Ignatius of Antioch Catholic School was honored previously in 2007, Saint Andrew School previously received the designation in 2013, and Saint Norbert School previously received it in 2015.
Dr. Andrew McLaughlin, Secretary for Elementary Education in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, reacted to the announcement by saying, “We are thrilled to learn of the well-deserved selection of these elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia as part of the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools cohort. That four of our elementary schools in the Archdiocese were recognized nationally among only 23 private schools speaks volumes regarding the work done in all of our Catholic elementary schools each day. This award and ones like it energize us and remind us that the young people and school families in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia are at the center of the hard work and sacrifices made by faculty, staff, and administrators throughout the academic year. Our primary goal is to enhance and enrich our academic offerings constantly as we provide students a Christ-centered, quality, 21st century education. I offer my prayerful congratulations to the schools being recognized today. They, along with the 39 others who have been chosen as Blue Ribbon schools in the past, serve as examples of excellence to all of us working in the field of Catholic education.”
With the addition of the 2021 cohort, a total of 41 different parish and regional Catholic elementary schools in the five-county Archdiocese have been recognized with Blue Ribbon Status since the program’s inception in 1982. Saint Genevieve Catholic School in Flourtown (Montgomery County) has received this honor more times than any other school in the Archdiocese (2000, 2006, and 2016).
The USDOE will hold a recognition ceremony for this year’s Blue Ribbon Schools during the week of October 31, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Representatives from the four schools noted above will be formally recognized at that time.
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Editor’s Notes: For information about Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, please visit www.aopcatholicschools.org. For a complete list of 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools, please visit https://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/.
Founded in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ academic achievement. Since the program’s founding, the U.S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on more than 9,000 of America’s schools.