Eleven Maryland schools have earned a prestigious 2013 National Blue Ribbon designation, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Tuesday.
The schools awarded the designation in the Baltimore region are: Chadwick Elementary School and Charlesmont Elementary School, both located in Baltimore County; and Folly Quarter Middle School, located in Howard County.
Additionally, two area private schools -- St. Joseph Elementary School in Cockeysville, and St. Mary's Elementary School in Annapolis -- also received the designation.
“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” Duncan said in a news release. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”
Schools earn a Blue Ribbon by either being among the highest performers on state assessments, or improving achievement levels of its most disadvantaged students.
The two Baltimore County public schools are both Title I schools, meaning they have a large percentage of low-income students.
Chadwick has been recognized as a Maryland Title I Distinguished School by the state Department of Education in 2009, and Maryland Distinguished Highest Performing Title I School in 2011, the district said in a statement. Officials said that about 99 percent of Chadwick's students have scored advanced or proficient in reading on Maryland School Assessments, and 100 percent have school advanced or proficient in mathematics.
At Charlesmont, more than 97 percent students are scoring proficient or advanced in reading and 98.7 percent in mathematics. Officials attributed the school's success to a focus on parent involvement and collaborative learning.
“Today, we can all celebrate the hard work and dedication that went into making these two schools not just Baltimore County and Maryland standouts but national models as well,” Baltimore County Superintendent Dallas Dance said in a statement.
The other Maryland schools recognized Tuesday were: Boonsboro High School, Century High School, Garrett Park, Holy Cross Catholic School, Robert Frost Middle School, St. John the Evangelist School and Saint Margaret School in Bel Air.
State Superintendent Lillian Lowery called the six public schools, "sterling representations for our state."
“Maryland’s National Blue Ribbon Schools are examples of outstanding teaching and learning," she said in a statement. "The students, teachers, administrators, parents, and community members of these fantastic schools are to be congratulated. Winning this coveted award is not easy.”
Maryland's Blue Ribbon recipients were among 236 public and 50 private schools across the nation to receive the honor Tuesday. Duncan will honor the schools in Washington D.C. in November.