Lake Shore and Severna Park elementary schools took their places among the nation’s elite today when U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced they had been awarded National Blue Ribbon School distinction.
Anne Arundel County has now had 15 schools earn the National Blue Ribbon distinction. Seven of those have come in the last eight years.
Lake Shore and Severna Park were among six public schools in Maryland to receive the award today. All six were named Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence last December.
“We are so proud and honored to be the recipients of this wonderful designation,” Severna Park Elementary School Principal Lynn Birus said. “It truly affirms the hard work and commitment of our students, staff, parents, and school community.”
In 2014, more than 98 percent of Severna Park Elementary School’s students scored at proficient and advanced on MSA math and reading, and 92 percent did so in science. The school’s PTA has received many awards over the years for its involvement and contribution to the school and to students. In addition, Severna Park has been a Green School since 1999.
More than 96 percent of Lake Shore students scored proficient or advance on the reading MSA in 2014, and 93 percent did so in math. As a PBIS school, classes mark their progress with a Cruisin’ with Pride wall. One of five arts integration elementary schools in the county, Lake Shore is also a Maryland Green School.
“There are no words to express how grateful I feel to be able to work with our incredible staff and our talented, hard-working students every day,” Lake Shore Principal Linda Toth said. “This is a community that is second to none in terms of how it cares for its children, and our parents and community partners also share equally in this honor.”
National Blue Ribbon Schools are awarded based on one of two criteria: the ability of schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds to dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests; or schools whose students, regardless of background, rank among their state’s highest performing schools on state assessments.
“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Duncan said in a video message sent to awardees this morning. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction, and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence – in vision, in implementation, and in results – and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”
In addition to Lake Shore and Severna Park, Benfield (2000-01), Bodkin (2000-01), Broadneck (2007-08), Crofton Meadows (2011-12), Folger McKinsey (2004-05), Jones (2002-03), Linthicum (2013-14) Mayo (1996-97), Oak Hill (1998-99), and West Annapolis (1998-99) elementary schools; Severna Park Middle School (2005-06); and Severna Park (2010-11) and Southern (2008-09) high schools have earned National Blue Ribbon distinction.
The schools will be honored by Secretary Duncan at an awards conference in Washington, D.C., on November 9 and 10.
A complete list of National Blue Ribbon Schools can be found here.