U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School logo Sidener Academy for High Ability Students has a long-standing track record of academic excellence. Now the students and staff at Sidener have a new accolade to add to the list – they belong to a Blue Ribbon School!

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 2014 list of National Blue Ribbon Schools this afternoon. Schools are selected based on their overall academic success or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education—that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” Secretary Duncan said. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”

Students and teachers at Sidener watched the live stream of the announcement to ensure they were the first to know about this huge honor. IPS is proud of Sidener’s recognition as an Exemplary High Performing School, meaning it is among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. This is an especially impressive achievement for the 2013-2014 award year, as the Department of Education used more strict guidelines than ever when selecting Blue Ribbon Schools.

In the spring, Sidener celebrated a 100 percent passing rate on the ISTEP+; we’re confident there are many more milestones to come for these gifted students. Congratulations to the students and staff of Sidener Academy!