Posted on September 25, 2020
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Categories: District News

U.S. Department of Education recognizes School District of Philadelphia elementary school as one of 367 schools with prestigious award

PHILADELPHIA — On Thursday, September 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Education announced that Rhawnhurst Elementary School had been awarded the National Blue Ribbon Schools designation for an exemplary achievement gap closing school. Based on its students’ standardized test scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates, Rhawnhurst is among Pennsylvania’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between student groups and all students. It is one of 14 schools in the Commonwealth — and the only school in Philadelphia — to achieve Blue Ribbon status this year.

“I’m always pleased to see our schools receive recognition for the amazing work that is done by our school leaders, staff and students,” said William R. Hite, Jr., Ed.D., superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “I am very proud of the progress made under the direction of Principal Joy Kingwood and know that, especially during these challenging times, this news will go a long way as we remain committed to providing a high-quality education for all students.”

Rhawnhurst Elementary serves more than 600 students in   kindergarten through fifth grade in Northeast Philadelphia. This community of students represent a diverse range of nationalities speaking more than 27 languages. The school has a focus on creating a positive learning environment in the school and community that will provide opportunities for all children to be engaged and successful learners.

“This is a wonderful honor and we have so much to be proud of during this moment. I am encouraged when I see how impactful we are in our own school community,” said Joy Kingwood, principal of Rhawnhurst Elementary. “Our students need us, our parents depend on us and society progresses as a result of our fearless educators.”

Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program awarded 367 public and private elementary, middle and high schools throughout the country for 2020. This is the eighth Philadelphia public school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School under Dr. Hite’s tenure (including Hill Freedman World Academy in 2014, Penn Alexander School in 2016, McCall School in 2017, Greenfield and Meredith schools in 2018, and Masterman and Carver high schools in 2019.) Rhawnhurst will be recognized in a virtual ceremony hosted by National Blue Ribbon Schools in November and receive its Blue Ribbon plaque and banner later this year.