Blessed Sacrament named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School (courtesy photo)

Blessed Sacrament School & Early Childhood Center in Alexandria is one of nine Virginia schools and 349 across the country recognized as a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

This is the second time Blessed Sacrament School & Early Childhood Center received this award; the first time was in 2008.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 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. Now in its 36th year, the U.S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,800 schools.

“This honor was achieved together through the support of our entire school community - our faculty, staff, parish priests, parish and, our Arlington Diocese Office of Catholic Schools,” said Valerie Garcia, Principal. Garcia says the school plans to celebrate the designation with students after the National Blue Ribbon Awards ceremony on Nov. 7-8, in Washington, DC.

“It is such a profound honor for Blessed Sacrament Catholic School to be named a 2018 Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. This designation reflects the school’s commitment to educational excellence on all levels of formation. With the rest of the faithful in the Diocese, I congratulate all of the administration, faculty, and students of Blessed Sacrament for the honor and recognition bestowed upon the school. I also commend and thank the primary educators of these students, their parents, for their sacrifices and great commitment to Catholic Education,” said Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Bishop of Arlington.

 The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school's building is a widely-recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.