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Three Rhode Island Schools Receive National Blue Ribbon Award

Ashton Elementary School, North Kingstown Senior High School, and Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary School Receive Top U.S. Department of Education Honor


PROVIDENCE, RI – The U.S. Department of Education has named Ashton Elementary School in Cumberland, North Kingstown Senior High School, and Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary School in Smithfield as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, honoring the three schools’ achievements in academic excellence. Ashton Elementary School is recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School, while North Kingstown Senior High School and LaPerche Elementary School are Exemplary High Performing Schools. Rhode Island Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education Angélica Infante-Green applauded the school communities on their recognition.

“Congratulations to the teachers, school staff, students, and families of Ashton Elementary, North Kingstown Senior High School, and LaPerche Elementary, whose tenacity and dedication have earned them this prestigious award,” said Commissioner Infante-Green. “In spite of the unique challenges of the past school year, these three communities have led the way in improving academic outcomes for our students. As Rhode Island works to accelerate student learning and close the opportunity gaps that have been widened by the pandemic, we will look to these schools as models to follow.”

“I am thrilled to see three of Rhode Island’s finest schools recognized as national leaders in education,” said Board of Education Chair Barbara S. Cottam. “We are proud of the schools recognized and will continue to work with every school in our state to help them achieve the same level of academic excellence and ensure every student has access to high-quality educational opportunities.”

“This very prestigious national award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the administration, faculty and staff of Ashton Elementary School,” said Cumberland Public Schools Superintendent Phil Thornton. “We are all very proud of Ashton School.”

“We see this as validation of all the hard work of our NKHS and school department teachers, staff, and our awesome students,” said North Kingstown Public Schools Superintendent Phil Auger. “Much appreciation to those who support North Kingstown schools.”

“Supporting the great work of our assistant superintendent, Sara Monaco, in the area of curriculum and instruction, and providing the necessary resources for success is paramount for our administrative team and school committee. Across the district, our work has been to raise expectations, improve consistencies for curriculum, and to further develop an already talented team of educators,” said Smithfield Public Schools Superintendent Judy Paolucci. “The success of LaPerche Elementary School is built upon that foundation, the relentless pursuit of excellence by its principal, Julie Dorsey, and the support of its families. LaPerche is not only a successful place to learn but is also a joyful, inspiring place to learn.”

The Rhode Island recipients of the award are three of only 325 schools nationwide selected to join 9,000 schools who have been recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program since its inception in 1982. Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. You can learn more about this year’s winners at www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html; photographs and brief descriptions of the 2021 National Blue Ribbon Schools are available at https://www.nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/.