On September 15, the U.S. Department of Education released the names of the 305 schools across the country that have been selected as 2011 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Among these institutions were 49 private schools, including St. Barnabas Catholic School in Indiana.
According to The News-Leader, St. Barnabas earned the honor based on several academic factors, such as a rigorous curriculum, high expectations and students' scores on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS). In fact, the school's performance was judged based on assessment scores from the last five years.
St. Barnabas uses the ITBS to evaluate its 730 students, the news source reported. The assessment measures test takers' abilities across several academic areas, including math, reading and language.
"Being named a National Blue Ribbon School is very exciting for our whole parish community," Principal Kimberly Browning told the news outlet. "Our past and current students, parents and teachers have worked diligently to achieve at the highest levels."
According to the news source, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded Blue Ribbons since 1982 to highlight examples of the best school leadership and teaching practices.