U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has recognized 349 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. Among them is Frederick County’s own Urbana Elementary School.
Rigorous state and national requirements for high achievement and significant improvement serve as the basis for Blue Ribbon School selection. The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement especially among disadvantaged and minority students. 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.
“We are deeply grateful for this prestigious designation," said Dr. Terry Alban, FCPS Superintendent. “The students, teachers, and families of Urbana Elementary have worked so hard to build a strong and successful community. This recognition is an important validation of that work. I am so proud of their achievement.”
Principal Tess Blumenthal agrees: “We are so excited to receive this special recognition. I am proud of our students, staff, and community for our ongoing high achievement and support for excellence in education.”
Last December Urbana was named one of just six Maryland Blue Ribbon public schools, receiving a proclamation from the Governor as well as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School flag, gifts and prizes for classroom use. Urbana has met the state’s criteria as a school that has demonstrated high achievement over a five-year period and ranks in the state’s top 10 percent on Maryland assessments in reading and math. About 760 students attend the school, which has 82 staff members.
Urbana Elementary will be honored among the other award winners at an awards ceremony November 7-8 in Washington, D.C. In the past 36 years, more than 8,500 schools nationwide have received this coveted award. Frederick County Public Schools claims 11 of them. The other Frederick County public schools that have received national Blue Ribbon School awards are: Centerville Elementary—2017, Kemptown Elementary—2015, New Market Elementary—2010, Windsor Knolls Middle—2002, Middletown Middle—1998, Yellow Springs Elementary—1994, Frederick High and Linganore High—1993, Gov. Thomas Johnson High—1991, Middletown Elementary—1990 and Middletown High—1987.
More information is online at http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools.