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National Blue Ribbon Award

Red Rock Central Secondary School in Red Rock Central Central School District has been designated an Exemplary High Performing Schools National Blue Ribbon School for 2018 by U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Red Rock Central school is one of 349 schools in the nation, one of eight schools from Minnesota, and the only high school in Minnesota to be recognized in 2018.


Red Rock Central School District (RRC) is located in Redwood and Cottonwood Counties in southwestern Minnesota. We serve approximately 400 students in grades K-12 from the communities of Lamberton, Sanborn, Storden, Jeffers and the surrounding area. We also provide a preschool program for 3 and 4 year olds and offer Early Childhood Family Education.

Red Rock Central School District has been a recipient of several awards. Since 2008, RRC has annually been selected as one of the nation’s “Best High Schools” by US News and World Report, receiving recognition in both the silver (5) and bronze (5) ctegories. The University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute also recognized RRC as “One of the Ten Best Prepared High Schools for College Students in Rural MN”.  Our elementary school has received many awards and accolades for years as well. Most recently, our elementary school has been designated as a “Minnesota Reward School” by the Minnesota Department of Education for 2016.

We take pride in our consistency in scores for the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCAs) as they are typically 8-15% above state averages.  In 2017-2018, our secondary students who qualify for the Free and Reduced Lunch Program (FRP) scored 75% proficiency on the Reading MCAs while our students not qualified for FRP scored 81.5% proficiency. Our 4-year college bound students have consistently outperformed the state average on the ACT, which helped us receive the ACT Red Quill award a few years back.

Even though we are a small school, we do a lot with a little.  Some examples of this include having our own digital fabrication lab and a fully functioning four-stall auto shop.  In addition, we are also very proud of the fact that a large percentage of our seniors receive some sort of college credit through our concurrent enrollment, Advanced Placement offerings, and articulated agreements. An amazing part about those three offerings is that all of our students have the opportunity for college credit before they graduate, not just our 4-year college-bound kids.

Another strong tradition of success has been in our fine arts. In 2005, we received a “Recognition for Excellence in Music Education” award as one of the “Best 100 Communities for Music Education in America” recognizing outstanding music programs and community support from a consortium of nine entities including Music Educators National Conference (MENC). Our high school band was honored to be selected to perform at the Minnesota Music Educators Association mid-winter convention in 2017 and our high school choir has been selected to sing the national anthem at St. Cloud State University Division I hockey games the last four years. Both band and choir have an ongoing trend for many years of receiving all three superiors from the Minnesota State High School League Large Group Contest, which is the highest level of performance you can receive.

There are many key strategies used within the school that have encouraged and challenged all students to develop their full potential academically, emotionally, physically, socially, and culturally. At Red Rock Central, we believe it starts with the staff. We pride ourselves at RRC of having caring and supportive staff in all grades. It is very common and of course, enjoyable, to hear our new students in the secondary say "the staff really care at this school!"

Small class sizes allow our staff to get to know each student and identify their individual strengths and needs. We average a 13:1 student to teacher ratio, and an 11:1 student to staff ratio, which has proven to be a financially worthwhile investment in creating opportunities for all of our students to be successful. Starting at the younger grades, our staff instills the core values and morals students need to be successful at our school and in life. With care and support, our students go through our educational system learning, developing, practicing, and accepting those core values. In the secondary, we always have a staff meeting at the beginning of the school year. We discuss many things, but one of those includes spending time discussing any information that is pertinent to the staff related to incoming students. This background information allows our staff to make a connection with the new students immediately. Students going through our educational system from preschool to graduation are exposed to many opportunities to develop and grow. We have many programs that align with our mission statement which encourage all students to develop to their full potential. To reference a few of those programs beyond our standard curriculum include: Accelerated Reader, Love to Read Month, Dental Health Awareness, Nutrition Education Program, Fire Prevention Week, CPR training, Read Naturally, as well as the many character guidance and development lessons.

Article: October 2018