LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Three area schools are being recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools. 

Jefferson County Public Schools' Norton Elementary was selected as a Blue Ribbon School by the U. S. Department of Education.  

Two  schools within Louisville Catholic Schools earned the honor including Holy Trinity School in Louisville and Saint Joseph School in Bardstown.  Both schools serve pre-school through 8th grade. 

In a statement, the Louisville Archdiocese said both Holy Trinity and Saint Joseph were honored as Exemplary High Performing Schools, which reflect the highest graduation rates. Schools in that status also have the highest achieving students in both English and mathematics. 

Norton Elementary is celebrating it's 50th anniversary.  In a statement, acting principal Tim Hagan said, "Our students work hard to demonstrate their learning, while parents, families, and the community come together to address any need that arises. Academic achievement has been consistently high-and the school continues to reduce the number of novice students, while increasing the number of those reaching proficiency. I am proud of the Norton community."

Only 342 schools across the country earned the distinction this year.  The national award recognizes academic excellence or progress in closing achievement gaps. The highly-coveted blue flag flown outside the honored schools is a symbol of excellence in teaching and in learning. 

All of the 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools will be honored later this year at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on November 6 and 7. 

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