National Blue Ribbon School distinction awarded to Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School logo

A Catholic elementary school in West Michigan has been recognized as one of the top schools in the country. The U.S. Department of Education has designated Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School in Belmont as a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School.

“I am so proud of our students, teachers, staff, and members of our Assumption family. We are truly honored by this recognition and are blessed with the opportunity to play a role in each student becoming the person God created them to be,” said Domenic Franconi, principal of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School. “The National Blue Ribbon School award validates all of their hard work and effort.”

To qualify, Assumption students in grades 3-8 scored in the top 15% in the nation in English and mathematics on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment, which is a nationally-normed test, in 2019. School leaders then participated in a nearly year-long process to apply for an award nomination. Following the application and nomination, Assumption was selected as one of only 367 schools overall, and one of only 50 non-public schools, to receive the National Blue Ribbon School distinction. The award recognizes Assumption as an Exemplary High Performing School, which means it is among the nation’s highest-performing schools as measured by standardized testing.

“This honor has come about through the hard work of Principal Franconi, the faculty and staff of Assumption, and from the dedicated parents who entrust their students to this school where we are committed to the Lord's service. I am so proud of the students who took up the challenge of learning and are demonstrating impressive growth in faith and knowledge,” said Rev. Tony Pelak, pastor of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish and school. “Assumption School has a rich academic tradition, and I thank the whole parish for their support of this effort.”

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the award via livestream on September 24. A recording of the announcement can be viewed here. Learn more about the National Blue Ribbon Schools program here.

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic School serves more than 180 students in preschool through 8th grade. Learn more at

Catholic schools in the Diocese of Grand Rapids are an alliance of 31 vibrant learning communities (26 elementary and five high schools) serving more than 6,000 preschool through 12th grade students throughout West Michigan. Our schools inspire young people to grow in Catholic faith and grace, achieve more in school and life, develop creativity and character, and feel welcomed and cherished for their unique gifts. We partner with parents to awaken the whole child to a world of light and life — that grows better and brighter when children reach their potential.