LANSING, Michigan (October 1, 2018) –Two Michigan charter schools are among 349 schools nationally that have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. This is considered the most prestigious honor a school in the United States can earn. The announcement was made earlier this month in Washington, D.C.
Named to the elite list were Achieve Charter Academy and Canton Charter Academy, both of which are located in Canton. Both schools are managed by National Heritage Academies, a for-profit charter school operator that’s one of the highest-performing charter networks in the country.
Achieve Charter Academy is authorized by Grand Valley State University, while Canton Charter Academy is authorized by Central Michigan University.
These are the first two Michigan charter schools ever to earn the Blue Ribbon designation. Canton Charter Academy and Achieve Charter Academy are two of just 20 charter schools nationwide to receive the award this year.
“There is no higher honor for a school in the United States, so to have two Michigan charter schools on this list speaks volumes,” said Dan Quisenberry, President of the Michigan Association of Public School Academies (MAPSA), the state charter school association. “What a great testament to these talented educators and hard-working students. I know the parents are thrilled they were able to choose these schools for their children, and the entire charter school community takes great pride in this accomplishment.”
Officials from both schools will be heading to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7 to be honored at the U.S. Department of Education.
Blue Ribbon Schools are honored in one of two performance categories: Exemplary High Performing Schools or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools. Achieve and Canton were both selected as an Exemplary High Performing School based on their student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.
"Our Achieve staff and students are incredibly proud to be receiving this award and feel honored to have received this award,” said Jen Conley, principal at Achieve Charter Academy. “Our staff and students continue to focus on growth and learning while maintaining a strong school community. We are appreciative of this recognition!”
“I am so proud to be working alongside such amazing deans and teachers,” said Kelie Fuller, principal of Canton Charter Academy. “We work so hard each day and it is humbling that we’re being recognized.”