BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - The now closed Nichols Elementary School has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
Nichols is the only school in South Mississippi to achieve the honor. Four other Mississippi schools are among the 304 Blue Ribbon Schools nationwide.
Nichols closed after last school year due to budget constraints and declining enrollment. The closing of the east Biloxi school prompted protests from parents and the NAACP.
The students and staff of Nichols Elementary School now attend nearby Gorenflo Elementary School. They are planning a celebration of the Nichols' achievement Friday morning.
"This a huge honor for Principal Melissa Nance, the teachers, the students and parents," said Biloxi Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul A. Tisdale.
"Nichols was nominated for consideration as a Blue Ribbon school about a year ago," Tisdale said. "The hard work of students, parents, staff and Principal Melissa Nance made this possible. Their efforts are what made the difference as they continue to make a difference at Gorenflo today."
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, especially among disadvantaged students. The program is part of a larger Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices.
Biloxi High School was named a blue ribbon school in 2007.