Folly Quarter Middle School in Ellicott City has been named a 2012 Maryland Blue Ribbon School.
It is one of six Maryland schools, and the only school from Howard County, to receive the honor.
"Folly Quarter Middle School has an extremely committed staff and student body intent on rising to academic challenges," Superintendent Renee Foose said. "Principal Rick Wilson and the entire Folly Quarter community have a great deal to be proud of today, as they are recognized as a model school within the state."
State Superintendent Lillian Lowery announced the Blue Ribbon winners Thursday, Dec. 20.
It is the first Blue Ribbon honor for the school, which opened in 2003. The school was named a Maryland Green School in 2010, and a Maryland Gold School for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) for the past three years. Folly Quarter also has received the State Department of Education's School Performance Award every year from 2004-2011, and students placed in the Top 10 in the state's Black Saga Competition the past two years.
The Blue Ribbon Schools is a state and national program that recognizes schools whose students are high performers, or have shown significant improvement in reading and math measured by the state's assessments. According to the state, the schools are either extremely high achievers, or are economically disadvantaged who have dramatically closed achievement gaps among their students.
According to 2012 Maryland School Assessments data, 99 percent of Folly Quarter students scored proficient or advanced in math and 93 percent in reading on the MSA exams, and more than 98 percent of eighth-graders passed the science MSA.
The Maryland Blue Ribbon schools now go on to compete for National Blue Ribbon Awards, which will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education in September 2013. A dinner honoring the school — and the five other Blue Ribbon winners — will be held March 11 in Annapolis. On March 11, the schools will be recognized by the State House of Delegates and the Senate.
Folly Quarter will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon Flag, a monetary prize, an indoor Blue Ribbon School mural, an interactive Smart Board. Students will also get a school-wide pizza party.
“While Maryland has scores of outstanding schools and classrooms, the Blue Ribbon School Award is a true honor for each one of these recipients,” Lowery said in a release. “We congratulate the students, teachers, administrators and communities, and look forward to great results in the national competition.”