Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has recognized 362 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2019. Among them is Frederick County’s own Urbana High School. Urbana is the only high school in Maryland to achieve recognition as a 2019 Blue Ribbon 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 proud of this prestigious designation," said Dr. Terry Alban, FCPS Superintendent. “The students, teachers, and families of Urbana High School have built a friendly, respectful, and supportive community to serve all students. Under Principal David Kehne’s leadership, we have evidence that a diverse community can achieve educational excellence through a respectful, supportive staff and school community that truly works together towards academic success for all students. This recognition is an important validation of that work.”
Principal Kehne credits students, staff, family, and community members for the achievement: "This award recognizes the commitment of our students and staff to strong academic achievement for all in our school. We appreciate the many parents and community members who support our work.”
Last December, Urbana was the only high school in Maryland, and one of just six schools statewide, named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School. The school received a proclamation from the Governor as well as a Maryland Blue Ribbon School flag, gifts, and prizes for classroom use. Urbana High 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 1,850 students attend the school, which has 86 teachers.
Urbana High will be honored among the other award winners at an awards ceremony November 14-15 in Washington, D.C. In the past 37 years, more than 9,000 schools nationwide have received this coveted award. Frederick County Public Schools claims 12 of them. The Frederick County public schools that have received national Blue Ribbon School awards are: Urbana Elementary—2018, 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