Return to Headlines

Orchard is a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School!

Orchard Middle School Named 

National Blue Ribbon School for 2023

It’s another Blue Ribbon for Orchard! The school is one of only 353 schools nationwide and 19 in Ohio announced as 2023 Blue Ribbon Schools today by the U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona.   

“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to Raise the Bar in education,” said Secretary Cardona. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially and emotionally.”

This national award recognizing student achievement at Orchard Middle School reflects the district’s continuous commitment to focus on the needs of every student every day and support the whole child, said Solon Schools Superintendent Fred Bolden.  

“Outstanding student achievement levels are the basis for Orchard being nominated for the Blue Ribbon Award,” Mr. Bolden said. “But the comprehensive application process required us to provide detailed evidence regarding our instructional practices and supports that meet student needs, the targeted strategies we have in place to encourage and challenge students to achieve personal excellence, as well as the ways we promote student and family engagement. This award highlights the dedication and collaboration among our students, families and staff.”

“At Orchard, we always talk about how we are stronger together and today’s news that we are a Blue Ribbon School shows that team effort,” said Cari Mineard, principal of Orchard Middle School. “We are so proud to receive the Blue Ribbon award. I know everyone at Orchard will continue to lead with kindness and build our school community.”     

Orchard was nominated for the award by the Ohio Department of Education and subsequently completed an extensive application about the school, its instructional practices, educational climate and culture. Orchard was honored as an Exemplary High-Performing School, identifying it as having among the highest achievement levels in the state. 

The National Blue Ribbon School Award affirms and validates the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in striving for and attaining exemplary achievement, according to the U.S. Department of Education. “National Blue Ribbon Schools represent the full diversity of American schools and serve students of every background,” the Education Department explained in announcing the 2023 Blue Ribbon Schools. “While awardee schools represent the diverse fabric of American schools, they also share some core elements. National Blue Ribbon School leaders articulate a vision of excellence and hold everyone to high standards. They demonstrate effective and innovative teaching and learning, and the schools value and support teachers and staff through meaningful professional learning.

“Data from many sources are used to drive instruction and every student strives for success. Families, communities, and educators work together toward common goals,” the USDOE continued. “National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective and innovative school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation. A National Blue Ribbon School flag gracing a school’s entryway or on a flagpole is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”

Mrs. Mineard will travel to Washington, DC, in November to officially accept the award. Congratulations to everyone at Orchard Middle School and in the Solon Schools community on this exceptional honor.

Solon’s Blue Ribbon Schools

All Solon Schools have earned the prestigious National Blue Ribbon School Award at least once.

Orchard Middle School – 2023

Roxbury Elementary School – 2022

Solon Middle School – 2020

Solon High School – 2019

Roxbury Elementary School – 2016

Orchard Middle School – 2013

Solon Middle School – 2010

Solon High School – 2008

Parkside Elementary School – 2007

Lewis Elementary School – 2006

Arthur Road Elementary School – 2005

Solon High School – 1991