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Description of the Missouri Gold Star and the National Blue Ribbon Schools Programs

Missouri’s Gold Star Schools program was established by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in 1991 and is designed to identify schools that are performing at a high level academically or making exceptional progress.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program and the Missouri Gold Star Schools program utilize the same criteria for nomination. In order to recommend a school to the Commissioner of Education as a Missouri Gold Star School, the school must meet the nomination criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education for the National Blue Ribbon Schools program, complete the National Blue Ribbon Schools application and the U.S. Department of Education must accept the schools National Blue Ribbon Schools application.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools whose students achieve at very high levels or schools that make significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The Blue Ribbon Schools Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement. 


Missouri may nominate up to eight (8) schools for the national Blue Ribbon Award. One-third of the schools (3) must be identified as disadvantaged schools. To be nominated, schools must have at least 100 students enrolled. In addition, nominated schools must have assessment data for at least 10 students in each tested grade for both English language arts (ELA) and mathematics.


For a complete description of the methodology used to nominate Gold Star and Blue Ribbon Schools go to