While there is a huge focus on getting achievement levels up in lagging schools, it’s also appropriate that we celebrate excellence in education, and six Louisiana schools have the blue ribbons to show that they are performing for their students.

Four public and two private schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.

Two schools are in Mandeville: Tchefuncte Middle School, a public school, and Our Lady of the Lake, a private school. Two are in Baton Rouge, Parkview Elementary in the East Baton Rouge Parish public system and Catholic High School.

In Meraux, Joseph J. Davies Elementary School, a St. Bernard Parish public school, also was named a Blue Ribbon School. And in Vernon Parish, Rosepine High School was a first-time winner.

The award goes to schools that either are among the nation’s top performers or have shown significant progress in improving student achievement.

Catholic High is one of three schools in the country to receive the recognition numerous times, in its case no less than five times. It is a tribute to the proud legacy of Catholic education in Louisiana.

“Our students are just as smart and capable as any in the country,” state Superintendent of Education John White said in a statement.

And students and teachers at these schools have a ribbon to show exactly that.