Two county schools earn Blue Ribbon designation


Two San Diego County elementary schools were among 28 schools in California recently named as National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Carmel Del Mar Elementary in the Del Mar Union School District and Elevate School, a K-5 charter school in the San Diego Unified School District, received the designation from U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, who recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021.

The U.S. Department of Education gives the awards based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps. Schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Carmel Del Mar and Elevate were both recognized as Exemplary High-Performing 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 Cardona in a statement. “I commend 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.”

The annual awards ceremony will be held Nov. 4-5 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Fort Washington, Md. To learn about the program and see the schools’ profiles and applications, visit