By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Pope may have left Philadelphia, but good news for Catholics keeps rolling in. This week, the US Department of Education gave three area Catholic schools the nod for excellence in education.
St. Agnes Catholic School in West Chester, St. Norbert Elementary in Paoli and Our Mother of Consolation School in Chestnut Hill are among the 335 schools in 44 states named a US Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School for 2015.
"We're thrilled to be the first Philadelphia Archdiocean Elementary School in the City of Philadelphia ever to receive this award," says Colleen Amuso, development director for Our Mother of Consolation. The school was the only one in all of Philadelphia to get the honor. In 2012, they were slated for consolidation, but appealed to the Archdiocese and won. Since then, funding is up and so is enrollment thanks to high test scores and overall academic excellence.
"It shows that Catholic elementary schools really do work, they really do focus on the complete education of all of children no matter where in the city they come from," she says. "It also validates everything we've been doing for the past 153 years."
The kids will celebrate Wednesday with blue ribbons and a cup of blue water ice. The US Department of Education will honor the schools in Washington D.C. in November. You can click here for the full list of National Blue Ribbon Schools.
for more features.