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Cross Creek Earns National Blue Ribbon School Honor

Cross Creek Charter Academy has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2023, the U.S. Department of Education announced on Sept. 19. The school excels in its community, having outperformed the local district for 13 years.

“I am excited to highlight the great things our teachers, students, and families have accomplished,” said Cross Creek Principal Joe Nieuwkoop. “The Cross Creek community is a special place, and the recognition is well deserved. Our teachers and staff are the best and they deserve to be celebrated.”
Cross Creek is one of 11 elementary schools in Michigan to receive this distinction in 2023 out of 353 nationwide, and it was identified as an Exemplary High Performing School, which means it is among the state's highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally recognized tests.
“We have built a school with academic excellence, student responsibility, Moral Focus, and parent partnerships as the core,” Nieuwkoop said. “It is exciting to see the passion and excitement around these beliefs.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools program began in 1982 and is given out to public and non-public schools through a nomination process based on student performance on state assessments in reading (ELA) and math, or a composite of performance on these assessments. Other student performance measures such as student growth on state assessments, performance in other subjects on state assessments, and graduation rates are also taken into account.
This year marks the 40th year that the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has recognized more than 9,000 schools across the country. Schools may be nominated once within a five-year period.
Principal Nieuwkoop will attend a ceremony Thursday, Nov. 16 and Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 in Washington, D.C.
Congratulations, Cross Creek!

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About Cross Creek Charter Academy
Cross Creek Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Byron Center, Michigan, serving students in Young 5s through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

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