Two schools in York County have received a national honor for student achievement.
York Preparatory Academy, a public K-12 charter school in Rock Hill, and Fort Mill High School are among five South Carolina schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools.
The program honors public and private schools that are among the state’s highest performing, as measured by state assessments and national tests, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Education.
The program also recognizes schools that are having success closing achievement gaps between students. Information is pulled from all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.
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“We are extremely proud of the students and staff at Fort Mill High School,” said Fort Mill Superintendent Chuck Epps. “This prestigious award is an affirmation of their hard work and dedication to providing a quality education to all students.”
Brian Myrup, managing director for York Prep, said the award reflects the charter school’s commitment to individual student growth.
“I continue to be amazed at the work that can be done when you have a committed group of teachers, parents and students working towards the establishment of individual growth of each student,” Myrup said. “This is an amazing step in that process that we are very proud of.”
U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized the schools.
“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” DeVos said in a video message to the honorees.
DeVos said: “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”
Up to 420 schools nationally may be nominated each year. The other National Blue Ribbon Schools in South Carolina are in Summerville, Pendleton and Taylors.