DC NEWS

DC Heights Academy Named National Blue Ribbon School

DC Heights Academy, a public charter school in the Anacostia neighborhood of Ward 8, has been named a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Heights Academy is the third DC school to earn this distinction, joining DC Promise Academy in 2018 and DC KEY Academy in 2007. This year Alice Deal middle school and Jon W. Ross elementary school were also named National Blue Ribbon Schools from the District of Columbia.

recognizes elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing the opportunity gap. More than 9,000 of America’s schools have received this prestigious award. Heights Academy joins 14 schools nationwide who have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools dating back to 2003.

Gaelan Gallagher, principal of Heights Academy during the 2018-19 school year and current principal at DC Honor Academy shared, “Heights Academy’s recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the outstanding work and dedication of the students and staff. The students show up each day ready to embrace the joys and challenges that come with learning, and their staff commits each day to ensuring they feel valued, heard, and empowered to be successful. I can’t think of a group more deserving of this recognition.”

DC Heights Academy was founded in 2011 and educates students grades 1-4. In addition to being named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2019, Heights Academy has ranked as a Tier 1 school as designated by the D.C. Public Charter School Board the last four years, and has also been named a Bold Performance Winner three years in a row and a Bold Improvement School by EmpowerK12. Along with DC Promise, Spring, and Lead Academies, Heights Academy was among the top five highest performing PreK3-8 public charter schools on the most recent Mathematics PARCC exam.

“The Heights team is incredibly hardworking, diligent and inspiring. This award speaks to their commitment day in and day out to our kids, families and community,” said Miriam Darby, principal of DC Heights Academy. “The belief that this team has in our kids is palpable, and it propels us on the path to excellence each day. I’m honored to work alongside such an incredible team and I’m overjoyed that we have received the recognition of being named a National Blue Ribbon School; it means our feet are firmly planted on the path towards educational equity in our nation’s capital.”

Heights Academy places emphasis on strong instruction and developing meaningful relationships with students and families. Each student is celebrated as a reader, thinker, mathematician, and future leader in classrooms that are nurturing and affirming. Heights Academy actively empowers the voice of students in the learning process and helps them foster the social and emotional strengths essential for their own success.

DC chief executive officer Susan Schaffeler shared, “I’m thrilled to see Heights Academy earn this distinction and continue to be impressed by the unwavering commitment of their school community to excellence and equity. Already among the top performers in the District of Columbia, I’m incredibly proud to see their hard work recognized nationally.


DC, the largest public charter school network in Washington, D.C. and the second-largest system behind DCPS, has been operating high-quality schools in the District for 18 years and currently educates 6,800 students in grades PreK3 through 12 at 18 schools.

For more information, please contact Adam Rupe.

Posted on September 26, 2019 in Community

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