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West Towson Elementary named Maryland Blue Ribbon School

West Towson Elementary named Maryland Blue Ribbon School
First grade teacher Kelly Baker talks to students about making hand puppets during at lesson at West Towson Elementary School in November 2016. Officials this week named West Towson a Blue Ribbon School for its high performance on statewide tests. (Jen Rynda/Towson Times file)

West Towson Elementary has been named a Blue Ribbon School for its high performance on statewide assessments, according to Baltimore County Public Schools.

The Blue Ribbons Schools Program is a state and national program that recognizes and honors high performance as well as significant academic progress.

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The decision was announced Tuesday at the Maryland State Department of Education Headquarters, in Baltimore. Twenty-four Baltimore County public schools have claimed the distinction.

West Towson and five other Maryland schools were selected in the category of exemplary high-achieving school for scoring in the top 15 percent of all Maryland schools on the 2017 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers assessments, also know as the PARCC assessments.

The tests measure whether younger students are acquiring skills and knowledge needed to advance to the next grade level and whether older students are on track to graduate high school and are prepared for college and careers, according to the Maryland State Department of Education website. An average of 79 percent of West Towson students met or exceeded expectations in math and language arts on the test, according to county school officials.

“We are so proud of West Towson Elementary School for this latest honor and the high-quality academic program it provides all students,” BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White said in a statement. “Recognitions such as this underscore our systemwide commitment to excellence and equity. Achieving Blue Ribbon status requires strong leadership and a fully engaged teaching staff and student body.”

As a Maryland Blue Ribbon school, West Towson will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon flag to display on at the school, a monetary prize, $1,000 in office supplies, interactive technology equipment and a school celebration.

The winning schools will also be recognized at a March dinner in Annapolis hosted by the Maryland General Assembly.

Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools compete for national awards, which will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education in 2018.

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