U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized 286 schools as the 2013 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student academic achievement.
The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing,” in which schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is “Exemplary Improving,” in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
Hollis Primary School in Hollis, New Hampshire and Newfields Elementary School in Newfields, New Hampshire were chosen as “Exemplary High Performing” schools and Lin-Wood Public Elementary School in Lincoln, New Hampshire was chosen as an “Exemplary Improving” school.
“We are delighted that three of our schools were chosen to receive Blue Ribbon School status,” said Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D. “The fact that we have three award winners again this year is a testament to the hard work being done by students, parents, educators, and everyone who plays a role in the education of our children. These schools represent all the excellent schools in New Hampshire that are working hard to improve achievement for all students.”
Hollis Primary School is in southern New Hampshire and serves 339 students in pre-K to third grade. The mission of Hollis Primary School is to ensure a strong, supportive learning environment focused on academic excellence. What sets this vision apart from that of so many other schools is not the eloquence of its descriptors, but the totality with which this community embraces its spirit. Teachers, administrators, specialists, and students together are secure in the conviction that all children are capable of learning at very high levels. The academic program is aligned through the grades in order to maximize student success.
Lin-Wood Public Elementary, Lincoln is a small, rural school located in the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire. There are 147 students in the school which covers K -5 education. This small sized family atmosphere in which everyone supports one another provides the staff the opportunity to analyze each students strengths and support growth in areas where students need assistance.
Newfields Elementary School serves 150 students K-5. On November 13, 1907, a two room school house opened and, with 4 additions, the school encourages academic excellence in a nurturing environment where all individuals are valued intellectually, emotionally, artistically, socially and physically and are empowered to develop to their maximum potential so that they can make contributions to the global community.
Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds. The Blue Ribbon Schools program is part of a larger US Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices. These Blue Ribbon Schools are an example of what teachers and students can achieve.
The principal and one teacher from each school are invited to celebrate the honor at an awards ceremony scheduled for Nov. 18 and 19 in Washington, D.C.
For more information about this and other award/recognition programs coordinated through the Department of Education log on to www.education.nh.gov/recognition/index.htm.