Two county schools have won national awards for excellence in the Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence Program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
Ashburton and Brooke Grove elementary schools were selected for the recognition after undergoing a rigorous review and on-site visits by a panel of educators chosen by the Department of Education to review nominees for the national award. Winners were named based on criteria such as outstanding curriculum and instruction, and strong leadership, school climate, and parent and community support.
All 10 schools nominated for the national awards by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) were named national winners. The MSDE selected the schools for state Blue Ribbon awards last fall after reviewing extensive information submitted by each school.
The winning schools will be honored in a national awards ceremony next fall in Washington, D.C., during which they will receive a special flag and a plaque commemorating their achievement.
The winning schools feature challenging academic standards and a rigorous curriculum for all students; a disciplined, supportive, safe and drug-free environment; participatory leadership and a strong partnership among the family, school and community; excellent teaching and an environment that strengthens teacher skills and improvement; low dropout rates; and documented student achievement.
Ashburton serves students in kindergarten through grade five in its regular education program and houses a Preschool Education Program (PEP) for young children with special needs. The national award also credits the school's SHINE Program--Successful, Helpful, Imaginative, Neighborly and Enthusiastic--with recognizing students who participate positively in the school community.
Brooke Grove was particularly commended for its academic strategy, efforts to encourage excellence in the arts and in athletics. The school serves students in kindergarten through grade five.
The selection of the two local schools brings to 26 the number of national Blue Ribbon awards won by MCPS elementary and secondary schools since the program began in 1982.