ALAMO – Zeferino Farias Elementary in Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD (PSJA ISD) has been nominated as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School for closing achievement gaps. The school is one of 26 Texas schools nominated for this prestigious recognition.
Initiated by the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that have high student achievement and/or highlights where exemplary progress has been made in closing achievement gaps among student subpopulations. Since the program’s founding, 7,000 schools across the nation have received this prestigious designation.
In Texas, public schools are considered for nomination based on student performance on the first administration of the previous year’s STAAR assessments.
“Congratulations to our students, teachers and staff at Zeferino Farias Elementary,” said PSJA Superintendent Dr. Jorge L. Arredondo. “We are really proud of you for earning this acknowledgement bestowed to only a few in the entire state each year.”
Since the program’s inception, PSJA ISD has had six other schools receive these honors. In the 1987-88 school year Raul Longoria Elementary was awarded the Blue Ribbon School designation. In the 1998-99 school year, Napper Elementary received this honor and in 2009 James Bowie Elementary, now McKeever Elementary was awarded. In 2018, Cesar Chavez Elementary and Carmen Anaya Elementary were awarded the prestigious designation, and for the 2020 year Kelly-Pharr Elementary became a Blue Ribbon School.
“We at Zeferino Farias Elementary are honored to be nominated for the National Blue Ribbon School Award,” said Principal Leticia Rodriguez. “This was made possible through the determination, collaboration, and commitment of our students, staff, and community. The nomination continues to drive our passion towards excellence in all areas for our students.”
The nominated schools must now complete a rigorous application process conducted by the USDE. National award winners will be announced in September of 2021. Schools that receive the designation are recognized at the Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.