By Sara Toth, firstname.lastname@example.org
2:57 PM EDT, September 24, 2013
Folly Quarter Middle School has been named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education — the only school in Howard County to receive the honor this year.
The department made its announcement Tuesday, Sept. 24. Maryland had 11 of the 286 public and private schools on the list.
"The staff and students at Folly Quarter Middle School have much to celebrate today," Howard Superintendent Renee Foose said in an email. "This national recognition shines a spotlight on the exemplary teaching and learning that goes on in FQMS every day."
Folly Quarter was one of six schools, and again the only one in the county, to be named a 2012 Maryland Blue Ribbon School last year. It was the first year the Ellicott City school was named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School, and this is the first time the school has been named a National Blue Ribbon School.
"I feel like a proud parent," Principal Rick Wilson said. "This is continued validation for so many people — the students, teachers, parents and staff. It's energizing, it's inspiring. The hard work is truly worth it, and receiving an accolade like this is certainly a nice privilege and honor."
Since 1982, more than 7,000 schools in the country have been named a National Blue Ribbon School. According to the USDE website, the program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students perform at "very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' academic achievement."
According to 2013 Maryland School Assessments data, more than 95 percent of Folly Quarter students scored proficient or advanced in math and reading and more than 95 percent of eighth-graders scored proficient or advanced on the science test.
Folly Quarter has collected several awards since its opening in 2003. The school was named a Maryland Green School in 2010 and a Maryland Gold School for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports for the past three years. Folly Quarter also has received the Maryland State Department of Education's School Performance Award every year from 2004-2011.
Other Howard County schools to receive the national honor in the past include Centennial Lane and Clarksville elementary schools, Burleigh Manor, Clarksville, Ellicott Mills, Hammond and Lime Kiln middle schools and River Hill High School, along with St. Louis School, St. Augustine School and Resurrection-St. Paul School.