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District Recognitions

Distinctions and Recognitions

The Ladue School District is widely recognized as one of the premier public school districts in the nation, whether it be for the caliber of the teaching, the hard work and character of our students and staff, or for transparent and conscientious district management.

  • In 2023, Niche named Ladue School District the Best School District in Missouri. Additionally, Ladue Horton Watkins High School was named the top public high school in the state. All five district elementary schools were named among the top 5 public elementary schools in the state, with the Fifth Grade Center at the top.
  • In 2022, Ladue Horton Watkins High School as the Best Public High School and the Ladue Fifth Grade Center as the Best Public Elementary School in Missouri. Additionally, LHWHS was named Missouri's best public high school for college prep, Niche also placed each of the district's four K-4 elementary schools in its Top 10 Public Elementary Schools in Missouri.
  • In 2022, U.S. News & World Report ranked Ladue Horton Watkins High School as the top non-selective high school in the state and Ladue Middle School a top-10 middle school in Missouri.
  • The district has earned the prestigious “Distinction in Performance” Award from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) each year the award has been given since 2001.
  • For the past 20 years, the National Merit Program has recognized approximately 10 percent of the members of each graduating class as a finalist, semifinalist, or commended student.
  • The district holds a AAA rating from Standard and Poor’s and is one of the few public school districts in Missouri, and one of less than 100 in the nation, to hold this designation.

For more information about the district’s recognitions or to peruse recent initiatives and historical milestones, visit the District History page.

National District and Schools of Character

The Ladue School District has been named a National District of Character (2019), along with four of its schools being named National Schools of Character by The Character Education Partnership. The Character Education Partnership is a national advocate and leader for the character education movement. The National Schools of Character program recognizes schools that have demonstrated the use of character education and development to drive a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.

  • Spoede Elementary School (2020)
  • Reed Elementary School (2018)
  • Ladue Middle School (2019 and 2014)
  • Ladue Early Childhood Center (2019)

Missouri District and Schools of Character

The following have earned distinction as Missouri Schools of Character. The program is conducted by CHARACTERplus, a division of Cooperating School Districts, and is the most rigorous award process in the field of character education in Missouri.

  • Ladue School District (2019)
  • Spoede Elementary School (2011)
  • Old Bonhomme Elementary School (2013)
  • Ladue Middle School (2018 and 2012)
  • Ladue Early Childhood Center (2019)

Gold Star Schools

  • Old Bonhomme Elementary School (2004-05 and 1991-92)
  • Reed Elementary School (2022-23 and 2004-05)
  • Conway Elementary School (2018-19, 2006-07, and 2002-03)

Blue Ribbon Schools

  • Reed Elementary School (2023-24)
  • Conway Elementary School (2019-20 and 2007-08)
  • Old Bonhomme Elementary School (2004-05 and 1991-92)
  • Spoede Elementary School (1987-88)
  • Ladue Middle School (East Ladue Jr. High School) (2015-16 and 1983-84)
  • Ladue Horton Watkins High School (1982-83)

Missouri Exemplary Professional Learning Communities School

  • Reed Elementary School (2014)