Bannockburn and Luxmanor elementary schools today have been selected as 2017-2018 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Bannockburn and Luxmanor will now compete for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award.
“These are wonderful schools because of their dedicated staffs, strong parent communities and outstanding students,” said Board of Education President Mike Durso. “They are doing exceptional work to meet the educational needs of all of their students and these awards recognize those efforts.”
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes and honors schools that exhibit high performance and/or significant improvement in reading and mathematics achievement as measured by Maryland assessments. Schools must meet other rigorous standards developed by MSDE and the U.S. Department of Education (USDE), including school leadership, professional development, and instructional approaches based on school-age population. MCPS has 39 National Blue Ribbon winners.
“Congratulations to the entire Bannockburn and Luxmanor elementary school communities on being named Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools,” said Superintendent Jack R. Smith. “These two schools are great examples of how highly engaged staffed can work in partnership with parents and community members, leading to great results for our children.”
Bannockburn and Luxmanor are two of six Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools announced on Dec. 5. Other winners are: West Towson Elementary School in Baltimore County; Urbana Elementary School in Frederick County; Fallston Middle School in Harford County; and Waterloo Elementary School in Howard County.
Bannockburn Elementary School was named the top performing elementary school in the State of Maryland for the 2017 PARCC English Language Arts in Grade 4. The school has a PARCC average of more than 89 percent of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts. In 2016, Bannockburn became a Certified Green School. It has built a strong partnership with parents and has a PTA membership participation rate that averages more than 80 percent each year. The staff is committed to building capacity through ongoing professional development, including programs like mindfulness that impacts both teachers and students. Bannockburn has instituted a Growth Board to facilitate teacher-led data discussions to strategize and ensure growth for all students. Its mantra of first teaching is best teaching is evident in differentiated small group instruction in all subject areas.
“The entire Bannockburn community is thrilled to be selected as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School,” said Principal Kathryn Bradley. “It is an honor to lead such a collaborative and dedicated staff whose hard work and student focus provide opportunities for every student to succeed at Bannockburn.”
Luxmanor Elementary School has a diverse international student population, with 26 percent of students coming from 22 countries speaking 22 languages. Luxmanor is also home to unique special education programs, accounting for 13 percent of the school population. Still, with 45 percent disadvantaged students, Luxmanor has an average of more than 65 percent of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts. Beyond the classroom, students’ efforts have impacted the community through annual food, clothing and school supply drives and fundraising. The school’s student energy and recycling team have contributed to its Maryland Green School certification. Luxmanor is also home to fourth grade teacher Melissa Segal, a finalist for the 2017-2018 MCPS Teacher of the Year. The school supports student mentoring relationships between general and special education students.
“I am excited to accept this award on behalf of the Luxmanor community,” said Principal Ryan Forkert. “This honor is a credit to the hard work of our staff, students and families over the past several years to maintain a high level of rigorous instruction for all of our students. Our focus on differentiated small group instruction with the infusion of critical thinking skills and equitable strategies has allowed our students to continue learning in a challenging and supportive classroom environment.”
As state winners, Bannockburn and Luxmanor will now compete in the National Blue Ribbon Awards program. The National Blue Ribbon Schools will be announced in September 2018 by the U.S. Department of Education. MCPS has 39 National Blue Ribbon Schools, the most recent being Farmland and Ronald McNair elementary schools in 2016.
Bannockburn, Luxmanor and the other winning schools will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon flag, a monetary prize, office supplies, interactive technology equipment and a schoolwide party. A dinner in Annapolis will be held in honor of the winning schools next spring.