HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — An elementary school in Henrico County was named a blue ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education, an honor shared by just 297 schools across the entire country.
In total, seven Virginia schools were honored by the blue ribbon award, including schools in York County, Virginia Beach, Manassas, Fairfax, Arlington, Virginia Beach and West Point.
According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Educaton, the award was based on “overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.”
School officials celebrated the award on Friday, which went to Nuckols Farm Elementary School. Situated on the western edge of Henrico County, principal Crystal Metzger said the school was “a family of educators, students and community members who work tirelessly each day to support our school and one another.”
Nuckols Farm Elementary School is also one of the most segregated elementary schools in the second-most racially-segregated school division in the state.
In Henrico County, approximately 36% of students are Black, while just over 34% are white, with the remaining students identifying as Hispanic, Asian or as multi-racial.
At Nuckols Farm Elementary, 73% of students are white, while just 3.3% are Black.
That is not unusual in Henrico County. In fact, a study by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute found that as of 2020, Henrico was the second-most segregated school division in Virginia — behind only Richmond itself.