Southern Delaware School of the Arts awarded Blue Ribbon

By Glenn Rolfe
Posted 9/23/21

SELBYVILLE — Southern Delaware School of the Arts and the Indian River School District are celebrating a Blue Ribbon accolade.

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Southern Delaware School of the Arts awarded Blue Ribbon


SELBYVILLE — Southern Delaware School of the Arts and the Indian River School District are celebrating a Blue Ribbon accolade.

SDSA, a K-8 magnet school in Selbyville whose mission is to promote academic achievement through the arts, was one of three schools in Delaware and 325 nationwide to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for 2021.

“Being recognized as a Blue Ribbon school is quite an honor for our SDSA family. This award is the result of the dedication of our students and staff to ensure that arts enhance the lives of our entire school community,” said Principal Travis Bower. “SDSA has always pushed our students to reach new heights and to find a passion of learning through the arts. We want to thank everyone for their hard work and … those who have contributed to the success of our school over the last 23 years. Without your efforts, this achievement would not have been possible.”

Delaware’s other Blue Ribbon honorees were Cape Henlopen School District’s Rehoboth Elementary and North Star Elementary in the Red Clay Consolidated School District.

This is IRSD’s 11th National Blue Ribbon Award since 2001.

“I am extremely proud of the students and staff of the Southern Delaware School of the Arts,” IRSD Superintendent Dr. Jay Owens said. “The distinction of being named a National Blue Ribbon School is a high honor and a testament to the hard work and dedication of the SDSA students, staff and community.”

The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Blue Ribbon-nominated schools in one of two performance categories, based on student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary high-performing schools are among their state’s highest performing as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary achievement gap-closing schools are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between all students.

SDSA was a winner in the first category.

The 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 39th year, the program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

“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,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I commend this school and 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.”

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Education Department welcomes nominations from the top education official in all states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.

IRSD’s other Blue Ribbon Award winners are Selbyville Middle (2018), East Millsboro Elementary (2008, 2017), Long Neck Elementary (2005, 2011), John M. Clayton/Frankford Elementary (2004, 2014), North Georgetown Elementary (2006), Phillip C. Showell Elementary (2003) and Lord Baltimore Elementary (2001).