Musson Elementary earns second National Blue Ribbon

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published November 20, 2020

 Musson Elementary School earned its second consecutive National Blue Ribbon Award.

Musson Elementary School earned its second consecutive National Blue Ribbon Award.

Photo provided by Rochester Community Schools


ROCHESTER HILLS — Musson Elementary School has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School, marking the second time the school has been honored.

“This recognition affirms the hard work of our students, staff, families and community in upholding excellence in education,” Superintendent Robert Shaner said in a statement.

This year, Musson is one of 367 schools across the country and one of 15 in Michigan to be recognized. Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year — either by the state’s education department or the Council for American Private Education for private schools.

State Superintendent Michael Rice congratulated Michigan’s 15 schools for earning what he called a “distinguished national honor.”

“Our Blue Ribbon schools serve as a shining model for every Michigan school striving for greater student achievement,” Rice said in a statement.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools 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.

This is the second time Musson Elementary School has been honored, also receiving the award back in 2014. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.

Musson Principal Laura Walsh said the award affirms the hard work of students, staff, families and community.

“It’s certainly a source of pride for us to receive this recognition,” Walsh said. “It is an affirmation of the hard work that takes place for — and with — our students, amongst our staff, and also the recognition of our families and our community, both at Musson and the entire district.”

Musson was once again recognized in the “exemplary high performing schools” category, which requires schools to score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by the national norms in the most recent year tested. This means that schools must rank in the top 15% of all schools on state assessments in both reading and mathematics. Each subgroup of students at the school must also be in the top 40% in the state on state assessments.

“We really believe that the culture and climate impacts that, community involvement impacts that, as well as a focus on academics, social emotional support, diversity and all of those pieces,” Walsh said. “We’re one school this year recognized, but we’ve had many other schools throughout the years recognized, and it really is a source of pride for our entire community.”

In its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards.

Over the past several years, RCS has had multiple schools recognized with the National Blue Ribbon designation, including: Brewster Elementary in 2017, Hamlin Elementary in 2017, Musson Elementary in 2014 and 2020, Van Hoosen Middle School in 2014 and Rochester Adams High School in 2017.

“We continue to celebrate our commitment to outstanding teaching and learning across the RCS community,” Shaner said in a statement.

Due to COVID-19, the 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony was slated to be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13 to celebrate the 317 public and 50 private school honorees, which will each receive their plaques and flags via mail.  

For more information, visit the National Blue Ribbon School program website at