Manatee Elementary earns National Blue Ribbon honors


Three Brevard Public Schools were named as prestigious National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

The program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The recipients of the coveted recognition are:

  • Edgewood Junior/Senior High
  • Manatee Elementary
  • Robert L. Stevenson Elementary

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future," U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said to honorees. "You are visionaries, innovators and leaders."

Edgewood Jr./Sr. High, in Merritt Island, Fla., is a school of choice with a focus on excellence and rigorous academics. The school, which offers only advanced-level courses, serves 950 students who are enrolled based on academic performance and a lottery. Edgewood students commit to earning a Diploma of Distinction, which includes completing additional course work, 25 hours of service learning per year and a senior project.

Manatee Elementary, an “A” school since it opened in 2003, has earned numerous academic and service awards and focuses on creating a sense of belonging and a history of tradition. Manatee Elementary leaders take pride in the school’s enrichment programs such as HEROES, a kindness and anti-bullying project, their environmental initiatives, and the Manatees Give Back community outreach group. The Viera, Fla. school’s fifth-graders are also given the unique opportunity to go on a three day camping trip in the Ocala National Forest where they immerse themselves in hands-on, fun-filled science exploration.

Robert L. Stevenson Elementary’s model of collaborative leadership values teachers’ ideas and professional judgement. At the Merritt Island, Fla. school of choice, faculty are encouraged to take risks to implement innovative ideas and to participate in the school’s decision-making process. Stevenson Elementary creates a stimulating and creative environment by providing a 1:1 computer to student ratio, and by incorporating dance, singing, musical instruments and art into each day. Students also are taught to research real-world problems and present their findings as well as develop and contribute to community service projects. 

The honorees will be celebrated during an award ceremony Nov. 6-7 in Washington, D.C.