State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick today announced the names of six public schools that have been selected as the 2008 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.
The names of the six schools have been submitted to the U.S. Secretary of Education for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. They are being recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education on the basis of rigorous state and national requirements for high achievement and dramatic improvement.
"This is an exceptional honor for these six schools, selected from the state's list of more than 1,300 schools," Dr. Grasmick said. "These schools serve as examples of educational excellence. It is a tribute to the students, teachers, parents, administrators and community members of these schools for their tireless efforts."
Three of the schools are in the top 10 percent of state schools as measured by the Maryland School Assessments. The other three are economically disadvantaged schools that demonstrated dramatic improvement on the state assessments over at least the past three years
The schools are:
- Cresaptown Elementary, Allegany County
- Broadneck Elementary, Anne Arundel County
- Cecil Elementary, Baltimore City
- Piney Ridge Elementary, Carroll County
- Hickory Elementary, Harford County
- Hickory Elementary, Washington County
The schools will be honored by Dr. Grasmick and other dignitaries at a banquet scheduled this spring in Annapolis. They also will be recognized with a special tribute by the Maryland General Assembly.
The schools will represent Maryland in the National Blue Ribbon Schools Competition. National winners will be announced in the fall of 2008 and be invited to Washington, DC to be honored by national officials.
Maryland corporate sponsors include Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Corporation, Verizon of Maryland, Comcast, Joe Corbi's Pizza, and SmartTechnologies.
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2007-2008 Maryland Blue Ribbon School Highlights
Cresaptown Elementary in Allegany County
13202 Sixth Avenue
Cresaptown, Maryland 21502
Principal: Roxanne Reuse
Phone: 301- 729-0212
Cresaptown Elementary is beating the odds in encouraging high student achievement. With over 46% economically disadvantaged students, 88.3% of its fifth graders were proficient or advanced in reading and 91.8% were proficient or advanced in math in MSA's. The school received the Maryland Center for Character Education 2007 School of the Year Award for Allegany County. The current Allegany County Teacher of the Year, Deborah Pappas, is a reading teacher at Cresaptown. The school has been recognized as a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Exemplar School for three of the last four years and received a perfect score on the PBIS evaluation in 2007. Cresaptown Elementary also received At ratings for all Professional Development Standards.
Broadneck Elementary in Anne Arundel County
470 Shore Acres Road
Arnold, Maryland 21012
Principal: Alison Lee
In the top 10% of Maryland Elementary Schools, Broadneck fifth grade students have achieved 97.3% proficient or advanced in reading and 99.1% in math. The school currently has five Nationally Board Certified teachers on staff. Broadneck is very community oriented, raising the most money in Maryland in 2007 for "Jump Rope for Heart". The school hosted over 100 donors for its Red Cross Blood Drive and a "Kindness" committee at the school works through the PTO to help the needy by paying doctor and fuel bills, and by purchasing groceries. Its parent involvement is very strong with over 12,000 hours of volunteer service donated this past year. Broadneck has also received accolades from its county for its special education inclusion settings.
Cecil Elementary School in Baltimore City
2000 Cecil Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
Principal: Roxanne Forr
With 90% economically disadvantaged students, Cecil fifth grade students are 84.6% proficient and advanced in reading and 98.1% in mathematics. Staff retention over the past four years has been 90%. Cecil has partnered with the East Baltimore Community Corporation which conducts a BACK TO BASICS class for all 5th grade students, helping them refine their skills. The school has a National Aquarium Aquapartners grant through 2010. Students have won first place in many art contests including University of Maryland's Safe Kids-Walk This Way Contest, the AAA Traffic Safety Poster Contest, and the Asthma Awareness Poster Contest. The school works with Morgan State University's Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education in its Science Fair program.
Piney Ridge Elementary in Carroll County
6315 Freedom Avenue
Sykesville, Maryland 21784
Principal: Karen Covino
A top 10% achieving elementary school, Piney Ridge fifth grade students achieved 98.3% proficiency or advanced in reading and 98.3% in math. The school was recognized by MSDE in 2004, 2005, and 2006 for performance on the MSA's. Its newspaper, The Dalmation Spotlight, received a national award from Time for Kids magazine in 2005. Teachers at Piney Ridge work together on a daily basis as a collaborative team. Parent involvement is exemplary with over 10,000 hours contributed by parent volunteers over the past two years. Parents are also involved in home assignments which encourage student sharing of instructional work.
Hickory Elementary in Harford County
2100 Conowingo Road
Bel Air, Maryland 21014
Principal: P. Gail Connolly
As a top achieving Maryland elementary school, 94.4% of fifth grade Hickory students were proficient and above on the MSA's in reading and 96.3% excelled in math. The school served as a pilot for the MacMillan McGraw-Hill mathematics program. Hickory exemplifies community service. Kindergarten students raise money and donate the proceeds to Anna's House, a housing program for women and children. Students also have been recognized as Carson Scholars and for work with the Good Neighbor Award and the Harford County Fuel fund. The school won a first place award in the Salvation Army Canned Food Drive. Staff members were recognized for Harford's Custodial Awards and as teacher finalists for Harford County Teacher of the Year. The school is also a winner of a recent Green School Award.
Hickory Elementary in Washington County
11101 Hickory School Road
Williamsport, Maryland 21795
Principal: Cathy Scuffins
Another school "beating the odds," with 54% economically disadvantaged students, Hickory Elementary in Washington County has fifth grade students scoring 87.5% proficient and above in reading MSA's and excelling at 93.8% in mathematics. The school recently won a Maryland State School of Character Emerging School Award, one of only nine winning schools in the State. Hickory encourages its parents; 100% of all classroom teachers visited with families prior to opening of school and phone calls were made to 96% of the students. Hickory teachers are leaders and also engaged in professional development; 92% visit demonstration classrooms in Washington County. Two demonstration teachers are Hickory members and others are on county leadership committees. Hickory students also contribute to eleven community service programs.