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Press Release: Six Maryland Public Schools Named National Blue Ribbon Honorees

Prestigious Program Spotlights Schools For Achievement, Dramatic Improvement

For Immediate Release                                                      

Contact: Dr. Darla Strouse, 410.767.0370, William Reinhard, 410.767.0486

Baltimore, MD (September 30, 2014)

Six Maryland public schools today were selected as 2014 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

The schools are:

  • Frost Elementary School, Allegany County
  • Linthicum Elementary School, Anne Arundel County
  • Western School of Technology & Environmental Science, Baltimore County
  • Northern Garrett High School, Garrett County
  • Cashell Elementary School, Montgomery County
  • Robert Goddard French Immersion Elementary/Middle School, Prince George’s County

The schools have been recognized on the basis of rigorous State and national requirements for high achievement and significant improvement. The students in each of these schools are high achievers in reading and mathematics, and many serve a significant number of economically disadvantaged students. 

“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education – that all students, no matter their socioeconomic status or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative, and challenging learning environments,” said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.  “We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”

State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said Maryland’s six public school honorees are very deserving of the special honor.

“Each one of Maryland’s National Blue Ribbon Schools is an example of what is right with education in our State,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery. “From teachers to administrators to communities, there is collaboration and educational support at these schools.  This provides for students an outstanding foundation upon which to grow and thrive.  These schools deserve our congratulations and admiration.”

The schools will be invited by the U.S. Department of Education to a special ceremony later this fall.  Maryland corporate sponsors include BGE; Comcast; Joe Corbi’s-Mrs. Fields; Rudolph’s Office Supply, Lightspeed Technologies; NTA Life; SMART Technologies, Inc.; and State Farm Insurance.


2014 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools Profiles

Allegany County – Frost Elementary School – More than 95 percent of Frost students obtained proficient or advanced MSA scores in both reading and math, consistently excelling in student performance on State assessments.  Community partnerships with the Frostburg Rotary, the American Legion, and Frostburg State University’s science department have supported the school’s instructional program, and for six years Frost has teamed with Frostburg State University’s football players to promote reading in the classrooms. The school has supported local and national charities including: the “Kids Helping Kids” campaign to collect canned food for the local food pantry; the pet supply collection for the local pet shelter; the St. Jude’s Mathathon; and the Pennies for Patients campaign. Along with being a Green School, Frost participates in a school-wide recycling program. The school has been recognized as a PBIS Maryland Gold Standard School for the last 5 years and recognized for overall performance on the MSA tests and for subgroup performance.

Anne Arundel CountyLinthicum Elementary School’s focus on increasing rigor and providing differentiated support for students has been met with outstanding success, as more than 95 percent of students scored proficient or advanced in math and reading on the 2012-13 MSA. There was no achievement gap with FARMS students, as more than 95 percent of students in that category were proficient or advanced in math and reading. Overall, 59.1 percent of students scored advanced in math and 57.3 were advanced in reading. The school, a Maryland Green School, also sponsors after school 24 Math Club, Mad Science, and STEM activities. Linthicum has cultivated many external partnerships with its community and business partners, including mentor programs for students with BWI Doubletree Hotel and AETNA employees. The school is a Professional Development School for Goucher College and students from nearby North County High School also work with Linthicum students. The PTA has been integral to school success and supports teachers through initiatives including raising funds to purchase Ticket to Read for every student and SmartBoards for every classroom.

Baltimore County – Western School of Technology and Environmental Science High is economically and culturally diverse with an average yearly attendance rate greater than 95 percent.  The pass rate on both the Algebra and English High School Assessments was above 95 percent.  This magnet school is consistently recognized as a top performing high school in the region and nation by the Baltimore Business Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Report, and Newsweek. In the past two years, AP participation rose from 370 to 548 exams with the percentage of students receiving scores of 3-5 increasing from 55.0 percent to 68.4 percent.  In AP Environmental Science, participation rose from 32 to 61 exams and students earning a three or above increased from 56 percent to 70.5 percent.  More than a third of the senior class participates in a capstone work experience or internship. Interns are placed at institutions including the NSA, University of Maryland at Baltimore County, Maryland Zoo, and Maryland Club.  Many students also compete in SkillsUSA, a “partnership of students, teachers and industry.”  In last year’s SkillsUSA competition, one student placed sixth nationally, three students were regional winners, and seven students were winners at the State level.

Garrett County – Northern Garrett High School offers a rigorous program of merit, honors, and Advanced Placement instruction in all core areas.  In addition, college credit courses in English and math are offered through a Distance Learning Classroom.  Every student at Northern Garrett has a four-year plan with an identified pathway within one of four clusters: Arts and Human Services; Business, Management, and Finance; Engineering and Technology; and Life Sciences and Natural Resources.  The FFA organization, one of eleven CTE programs located within the school, was named as the State of Maryland’s Career and Technology Student Organization of the Year.  Northern Garrett was recently recognized as one of the Nation’s Best High Schools and named a Silver Medal School by The U.S. News and World Report.  The overall pass rate on both the Algebra and English High School Assessments is above 95 percent.  In addition, with 40 percent of its students on Free and Reduced Meals, 81 percent of these students obtained passing scores on all required High School Assessments.  Northern has always achieved Adequate Yearly Progress and is now categorized in Strand 1 based on their School Progress Indicators.

Montgomery County – Cashell Elementary School has a diverse population of 326 students from Pre-K through Grade 5, as well as 4 classes serving a special needs population from ages 3 to 11 years old. Despite significantly changing demographics in recent years, Cashell students have consistently scored at high levels on the MSA for the last several years and have successfully met all state accountability expectations.  In 2013, more than 95 percent of the students were proficient in reading, with 52 percent scoring in the advanced range. In mathematics, more than 95 percent of Cashell students were proficient, while 60 percent scored in the advanced range. In addition to a strong academic program, Cashell has an outstanding integrated arts program. The arts team collaborates on several student productions throughout the year, and the Cashell chorus has performed in several Washington, D.C. venues, including the Cherry Blossom Parade, the Pageant of Peace, and Zoolights.

Prince George’s County – Robert Goddard French Immersion School students obtained overall proficient or advanced scores of 94.4 percent in math and 95 percent in reading, while meeting its Adequate Yearly Progress targets for 12 consecutive years.  The second oldest full or total immersion school in the United States, Goddard French Immersion has many of its 578 culturally diverse students receiving top honors in programs such as the Diplôme d'Etudes en Langue Française, an official qualifications awarded by the French Ministry of Education to certify the competency of candidates from outside France in the French language, Final Frontiers, National Science Bowl, annual top honors in the Prince George’s County Instrumental Music Assessment, Destination Imagination, and the Russian Olympiada.  The school is also characterized by its community giving and has donated thousands of dollars to local and national charities including the P.G. Public Safety Assistance Program Food Drive, March of Dimes Foundation, and Pennies for Patients, American Diabetes Walk, and the Marine Corp “Toys for Tots.”  It has been a Maryland Green School since 2004 and a PBIS Bronze Medal Recognition School for the last two years.

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