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North Allegheny's Franklin Elementary named a Blue Ribbon School

Tony LaRussa
| Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, 1:54 p.m.

Franklin Elementary School in the North Allegheny School District is one of only 342 schools out of more than 300,000 in the United States to be named a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School , federal education officials announced.

Seventeen other Pennsylvania schools are being honored by the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Schools program, which has been in existence for more than 30 years.

In addition to Franklin Elementary, the winners in Western Pennsylvania are: Sunrise Elementary School in the Penn-Trafford School District in Westmoreland County; Laurel Junior/Senior High School in New Castle, Lawrence County; and Greenville Junior/Senior High School in Greenville, Mercer County.

Franklin Elementary has an enrollment of about 380 pupils in kindergarten through fifth grade. The school was previously named a Blue Ribbon School in 1985.

The award is based on a school's overall academic excellence or marked progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. This year's award went to 292 public and 50 private schools in the nation.

"We recognize and honor your success in the critical work of preparing today's generation of children for success," said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video announcing this year's Blue Ribbon schools. "There are more than 130,000 schools in the United States and you're at the top.

"Some might say your students are achieving unimaginable success. But they imagined it....National Blue Ribbon Schools are an active demonstration of preparing every child for a bright future. You are visionaries, innovators and leaders," the secretary said.

Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Franklin was nominated as an "Exemplary High Performing" school, which are among the top schools in the state.

NA's Carson, Ingomar and Marshall middle schools as well as the intermediate and senior high schools have been named Blue Ribbon Schools in the past.

"We are proud to accept this esteemed honor that serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts of a talented and dedicated staff, hardworking and persistent students, and an involved and supportive community that is committed to doing good things for kids in a positive and healthy school environment," said Jeff Anderchak, principal at Franklin Elementary.

North Allegheny is the largest suburban school district in Allegheny County, with more than 8,100 students. District officials plan to send representatives to the Blue Ribbon awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in early November.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-772-6368 or tlarussa@tribweb.com or via Twitter @TonyLaRussaTrib.

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