From the Maryland State Department of Education:
Six Maryland public schools today were selected as 2012 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.
The schools are:
– Crofton Meadows Elementary School, Anne Arundel County
– Woodholme Elementary School, Baltimore County
– Ring Factory Elementary School, Harford County
– Rachel Carson Elementary School, Montgomery County
– Whitehall Elementary School, Prince George’s County
– Pocomoke Elementary School, Worcester County
The schools are recognized on the basis of rigorous state and national requirements for high achievement and dramatic improvement. The students in each of the schools excel on state assessments in reading and mathematics.
“The work done in these schools is emblematic of the fine instruction taking place throughout our school system,” said Interim State Superintendent of Schools Bernard J. Sadusky. “We congratulate these schools and know they will represent Maryland education well in the national competition.”
The schools will be invited by the U.S. Department of Education to apply to be National Blue Ribbon Schools. With underwriting of Maryland sponsors, each school will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon Flag, a $2,000 monetary prize, an interactive Smart Board, and a school-wide Pizza Party. A dinner will be held in honor of the winning schools on March 19.
Maryland corporate sponsors include Comcast; Joe Corbi’s Pizza; EduTrax; SMART Technologies, Inc.; State Farm Insurance; and Verizon, Maryland.
2012 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools
Crofton Meadows Elementary School – Anne Arundel County Public Schools
At Crofton Meadows Elementary, 100% of tested students scored proficient or advanced on the math MSA and 99 % of the students achieved the same in reading. Crofton Meadows’ teachers are constantly assessing their students, analyzing the results and using the data to drive and form instruction. The school is also proud of its effective mentor program from Force 3, the Cruising Towards Character guidance program, assemblies provided by a supportive PTO and the Girls on the Run program. The students understand what it means to be a caring member of the community by raising money, collecting food and completing various community services. The next academic target is to have 50% of all student groups score advanced on the math and reading portions of the MSA.
Woodholme Elementary – Baltimore County Public Schools
Woodholme Elementary has 96% of its students proficient and above in both math and reading. With over 800 students, 42% of which participate in Free and Reduced Meals, a majority score in the advanced range. In grade 4 math, 91 out of 132 students scored advanced. In grade 5 reading, 103 out of 149 students scored advanced. When compared to other Maryland schools with similar demographics, Woodholme has been ranked #1 in math and reading for the past 3 years. Teachers provide exciting learning opportunities such as LEGO Robotics, MESA Club, TV Studio Crew, Math 24 Club and a school wide STEM Fair. The school is also home to Maryland’s 2010 Milken National Educator. In parent surveys, 98% of parents express satisfaction and Woodholme has a 99% professional staff retention rate. More than half the staff volunteers as mentors for students in other grade levels.
Ring Factory Elementary School – Harford County Public Schools
Ring Factory, a high achieving school, excels with over 98% of its students proficient and above in math and 98% proficient and above in reading. It has been designated a Maryland Physical Education Demonstration School for 2011-13 by the Maryland Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance. It is a recipient of the Maryland Character Education School of the Year Award. The school is proud of its many corporate partnerships and is a PDS School with Towson University. Students help their community by actively contributing to a number of local charities. The school family is proud of its award-winning Teachers of the Year as well as Ring Factory’s Fox Choir and Steel Drum Groups which have received numerous awards and accolades. The school takes pride in its wide assortment of extracurricular activities that help students reach greater heights in learning.
Rachel Carson Elementary – Montgomery County Public Schools
Rachel Carson Elementary, a high achieving school, has advanced significantly in their performance on the Maryland School Assessments, reaching an all-time achievement high of 98% proficient and advanced in reading and 98.3% proficient and advanced in math. Beginning in Grade 2, 50% of its students are instructed one to two years above grade level in math. The school’s student Destination Imagination (DI) team most recently won the local and state competitions and represented Maryland in the 2011 Global DI competition. With a City of Gaithersburg grant and community partnerships, Rachel Carson staff provides weekly outreach and support to disadvantaged and second language students. This structured support and intervention enables them to foster stronger ties with families and is a key component in the school’s goal of eliminating the achievement gap. The school’s staff is highly qualified with seven current teachers achieving National Board Certification.
Whitehall Elementary School – Prince George’s County Public Schools
Whitehall Elementary opened its doors 7 years ago with the vision of “Educating Children Beyond Expectations.” As they continue on this quest, 97.9% of the students achieved proficient or advanced in both reading and math on the 2011 MSA, with nearly half, 42.6% (reading) and 49% (math) attaining advanced. The teachers are dedicated to seeing the students achieve and reach their full potential. They are a reflective group of teachers with 8 of them having attained the designation of being Nationally Board Certified. Teachers volunteer their time before and after school to tutor groups of students and sponsor various clubs and activities. Whitehall had a team take 1st place in the Central Region of the Destination Imagination Competition in 2010. Whitehall has consistently placed as one of the top fundraisers for Jump Rope for Heart. The parents are extremely involved, partnering to ensure that Whitehall is educating the whole child.
Pocomoke Elementary School – Worcester County Public Schools
Pocomoke Elementary School (PES) serves a small rural town and 66% of its students participate in Free and Reduced Meals. However, 100% of third grade students were proficient or advanced in math (78% advanced) and 97.4% in reading (41% advanced.) The school was honored in 2011 as a National Title I Distinguished School for sustained student achievement. It is the only school in Maryland to be recognized as a Panasonic National School Change Award Winner demonstrating exemplary growth in overall student academic achievement (2010.) PES was honored by the Maryland State Educator’s Association as 2nd place winner in the 2011 Closing the Gaps Contest and it earned the 2009 Maryland Character School of the Year “Emerging School Award.” It is a yearly recipient of the Positive Behavior Intervention Support System’s Gold Award and was recognized by the U.S. Dept. of Education for its significant growth.