Two RI Schools with SMMA Ties Named Blue Ribbon Winners

SMMA is happy to congratulate our friends at Rhode Island's Archie R. Cole Middle School (East Greenwich) and Francis J. Varieur Elementary School (Pawtucket) on being named among 2015’s National Blue Ribbon Schools (NBRS) Award winners by the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program—which has honored more than 8,000 public and private elementary, middle, and high schools since 1982—recognizes places of learning that meet high standards of academic excellence and display exemplary dedication to helping students succeed in the classroom. This year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan selected 335 schools—285 and 50 public—from 45 states, as well as several domestic and international Department of Defense Education Activity locations, for the honor.

SMMA’s ties to the Cole and Varieur schools—and commitment to designing successful K-12 learning environments throughout Rhode Island—are strong. We provided full design services for Cole Middle School, which opened in 2011 and remains one of only two new schools built under the updated RIDE regulations, and assessed Varieur Elementary School as part of the RIDE Stage I process for the Pawtucket School District.

In a post on the Rhode Island Department of Education website, Governor Gina Raimondo said:

“The Blue Ribbon is the highest honor the U.S. Department of Education awards to schools, and the award of Blue Ribbons to three Rhode Island schools shows that our best schools rank among the best in the nation. I know that our teachers across the state are working hard to ensure that our schools provide all Rhode Island students with knowledge and skills they will need for success in school and in challenging careers.”


For being selected, each school will receive a commemorative award plaque and flag, and also be recognized at a ceremony in Washington, DC on November 9 & 10. SMMA commends both schools on their NBRS designation, and we look forward to them continuing to define educational quality in Rhode Island long into the future.