The Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) was named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School on Sept. 24 by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, which is managed by the U.S. Department of Education, honors schools that are either high-performing or have closed achievement gaps, especially among minority or disadvantaged students. These schools demonstrate that all students can achieve at high levels.

“This is a school wide accomplishment that involves our faculty, staff, students, parents, and graduates,” said LSMSA Executive Director Dr. Steve Horton. “You don’t get an honor like this because of one person. We’ve been recognized once before and to be included in such an elite group is one of the highest honors a school could celebrate.”

LSMSA is also one of three Louisiana public schools recognized as “Exemplary High Performing Schools.” These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. The schools and parishes in which they are located include:

Erath High School, Vermilion Parish
Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts, Natchitoches Parish
Metairie Academy for Advanced Studies, Jefferson Parish

“We believe that LSMSA represents important ideas of excellence, opportunity, and shared effort,” said Director of Academic Services Dr. Kristi Pope Key. “To be recognized for our academic excellence and for the importance of our residential community reflects on the vision of our founders, the efforts of our community, and the promise of our future. I’d like to thank our Executive Director, Dr. Steven Horton, our Board Chair, Mrs. Sharon Gahagan, and the entire Board of Directors for their ongoing and generous support of the school as a whole.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The coveted 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 38th year, the program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

“This national honor speaks to the high expectations and student-first cultures you will find at all of these schools,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Cade Brumley. “I’m proud to have them represent Louisiana and congratulate them on this remarkable accomplishment.”

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. Given the current situation regarding COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Education will celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees in the ways that they are able, and each receive their plaques and flags via mail.