VALPARAISO, Fla. (WKRG) — The Okaloosa County STEMM Academy specializing in teaching the Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, and Medical fields has been nominated for the National Blue Ribbon Program.

The Okaloosa County School District announced the nomination Monday, Jan. 30.

According to the Department of Education, the Blue Ribbon Program highlights schools and with high performance.

“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.”

Department of Education, National Blue Ribbon Program

OCSD said the STEMM Academy is an advanced program in which the students are selected to attend based on their math and science performance, starting in the 6th grade.

The district said the academy was selected based on 2021-2022 school year stats:

  • Earned a school grade of A for the 2021-2022 school year;
  • Performed, as a whole school, in the top 15% in the state; and 
  • Each subgroup (American Indian, Asian, Black/African American, Hispanic, White, English Language Learners (ELL), Students with Disabilities (SWD), and Economically Disadvantaged) performed in the top 40% in the state. 
  • For high schools, graduation rate and college and career readiness performed in the top 15% in the state.

 “I am very proud of the STEMM Academy for receiving this nomination,” said Superintendent Marcus Chambers. “The performance data affirms the hard work of our students and teachers, and their achievement is something we can all be proud of as a community.”

To accept the nomination, Okaloosa STEMM Academy will be required to complete an application to FDOE and USDOE. An announcement of the National Blue Ribbon Schools will be made in September 2023 by the USDOE Secretary of Education. 

The 2022 National Blue Ribbon Program award winners are listed online. Results for the 2023 awards have not been released.