It's the most prestigious award a school can receive, and only 325 schools across the country were honored this year with Blue Ribbon status.

Briarcliff High School and Pleasantville High School join a select group of honorees that have now become official 2021 Blue Ribbon Schools.

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The announcement was made Tuesday morning by the U.S Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.

According to, Briarcliff High School and Pleasantville High School join 17 other New York State schools that were also awarded Blue Ribbon status for 2021.

Ironically, the two Hudson Valley School districts that include these two newly honored Blue Ribbon Schools are located only about 2 miles apart.

So just what does it mean to be named a Blue Ribbon School?

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence, and their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

How is a school eligible?

Eligibility is based on student test scores, as well as graduation rates. During the 2019 school year Briarcliff High School, with an enrollment of about 550 students, had a 100% graduation rate. Meanwhile Pleasantville High School with around a 580 student enrollment had a 99% graduation rate.

Who were some of the other Hudson Valley Schools honored over the last few years?

Last year, there were four schools in the Lower Hudson Valley that received Blue Ribbon honors, they were Bryan Hills High School, Dobbs Ferry High School, Dows Lane Elementary School, and Healthcote Elementary School.

In 2019, there was only one Hudson Valley School awarded Blue Ribbon honors and that was Yorktown High School.

Blue Ribbon status is a very big deal considering there are 130,930 K-12 schools in the country according to 2017-2018 data from NCES (The National Center for Education Statistics).

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