The Blue Ribbon School award is a prestigious award that is given to a certain number of public or private schools that exceed the criteria and display exemplary teaching and learning. It aims to recognize the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in their endeavor to create a school that is safe and welcoming as well as one that provides an opportunity for the students to master challenging content.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future," says U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos while speaking to the honorees. "You are visionaries, innovators, and leaders. You have much to teach us: some of you personalize student learning, others engage parents and communities in the work and life of your local schools and still others develop strong and forward-thinking leaders from among your teaching staff."

The awarded schools in 2017 will be honored at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Each awardee will receive a plaque and flag to signify the school's exemplary status.

This year, a total of 17 schools in New Jersey were honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. 

Nine of these schools are in Central New Jersey and are identified as the Academy of Our Lady of Peace, Union County Academy for Allied Health Sciences, Woodland School, Littlebrook Elementary School, Cheesequake Elementary School, St. Francis Cathedral School, Christian Brothers Academy, Sea Girt Elementary School, and Cedar Hill Preparatory School.

1. The Academy Of Our Lady Of Peace

Where: 99 South Street, New Providence, NJ 07974

This elementary school in New Providence is under the Archdiocese of Newark. With a student population of 145, the school was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School.

2. Union County Academy For Allied Health Sciences 

Where: 1776 Raritan Rd, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076 

With 291 high school students, the school is said to be part of the Union County Vocational-Technical District. It received the recognition of being an Exemplary High Performing School. The school is one of the two high schools in New Jersey that received the prestigious award. The other high school is Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft.

3. Woodland School

Where: 114 Stirling Road, Warren, NJ 07059 

Woodland School is a public elementary school in Warren. It has the student-teacher ratio of 7:1.  With a student population of 250, it was recently recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School.

4. Littlebrook Elementary School 

Where: 39 Magnolia Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540

The school's curriculum includes Arts, Technology, Health, Language Arts, Library Skills, Mathematics, Music, Physical Education, Science, Social Studies and World Languages. With 349 students, it was recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School in 2017. 

"Littlebrook's Blue Ribbon award is more than a celebration of our students' outstanding academic performance," said Superintendent Steve Cochrane. "It is also a celebration of the school's caring relationships and innovative instruction."

Image source:

5. Cheesequake Elementary School

Where: 111 NJ-34, Matawan, NJ 07747 

Cheesequake is the first school in Old Bridge Township school district to receive the prestigious National Blue Ribbon status. 

"The selection of Cheesequake Elementary School as our first National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence speaks volumes about our educators, our families, our community, and most of all our children," said David Cittadino, Old Bridge Township Public Schools Superintendent. 

Image source:

6. St. Francis Cathedral School

Where: 528 Main Street, Metuchen, NJ 08840 

Founded in 1928, the St. Francis Cathedral School (SFCS) is a Catholic elementary school that is operated under the Metuchen Diocese. Apart from being one of the recipients of the 2017 National Blue Ribbon School Award for Exemplary Performance, the school also prides itself for being in the top 15% in terms of student achievement in English and Mathematics which is among the highest in the country.

Image source: Mr. Matte | Wikimedia Commons

7. Christian Brothers Academy 

Where: 850 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738 

Christian Brothers Academy is one of around 50 secondary schools in the Lasallian Network nationwide. It is sponsored directly by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and governed by a Board of Trustees that is made up of Brothers and laypersons.

Image source:

8. Sea Girt Elementary School

Where: 451 Bell Place, Sea Girt, NJ 08750

Sea Girt Elementary School (SGES) provides instruction to students from Pre-Kindergarten up to 8th Grade. Core subjects include Science, Language Arts | Reading, Social Studies, and Math. It also offers Special Programs such as Art, Library Skills, Technology, Music, Spanish and Physical Education.

Image source: Nanmenon | Wikimedia Commons

9. Cedar Hill Preparatory School 

Where: 152 Cedar Grove Ln, Somerset, NJ 08873

Cedar Hill Prep School was established in 2003 under the name Oakcrest Academy. It was founded by Nandini and Raghu Menon. Today, the school is a vibrant community that represents families from 22 different countries and ethnic identities where everyone is engaged in an intimate and interactive environment that revolves around learning, enrichment, and camaraderie.