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ARNOLD AND PASADENA ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS EARN ELITE NATIONAL BLUE RIBBONS; HONORS BRING COUNTY TOTAL TO 17 NATIONAL BLUE RIBBON SCHOOLS

Arnold and Pasadena elementary schools landed among the cream of the national crop today when U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr., announced they have been awarded National Blue Ribbon School distinction.

national-blue-ribbon-school-logoAnne Arundel County Public Schools has now had 17 schools earn National Blue Ribbon honors, including nine in the last nine years. This year marks the second straight year AACPS has had multiple National Blue Ribbon winners.

Arnold and Pasadena were among six public schools in Maryland and 329 across the nation to receive the award today. All six Maryland schools were named state Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence in December.

At Arnold, more than 98 percent of students in grades 3 through 5 scored proficient or advanced on the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) in reading from 2009-10 to 2013-14, the last year the MSA was administered, and more than 97 percent did so in math. Nearly 73 percent of students in grades 3 through 5 scored a 4 or 5 – the level needed to be designated as being on track for college and career readiness – on the last year’s initial administration of the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) reading assessment, and nearly 56 percent did so in math.

Arnold is an arts integration school, and as such emphasizes strategies designed to develop critical thinking and inquiry skills along with knowledge of art standards. It also has been designated as an AACPS Wellness School of Distinction, and its partnerships with Master Gardeners of Maryland and the HEROS Running Program have provided a meditation garden, outdoor learning classrooms, and health and fitness programs.

“This is such a great day for the Arnold Elementary community,” Arnold Elementary School Principal Shauna Kauffman said. “I am so proud of our incredible students, teachers, and staff and thankful for our caring and supportive community.”

At Pasadena Elementary School, more than 93 percent of students in grades 3 through 5 scored proficient or advanced on the reading MSA and more than 92 percent did so in math from 2009-10 through 2013-14. In the last year of MSA, 100 percent of the school’s Hispanic students, 97 percent of students receiving free and reduced-price meals, 96.8 percent of white students, 90 percent of African-American students, and 83 percent of multi-racial students achieved proficient or advanced status on the reading assessment.

“Pasadena is a great place to grow and learn! This is amazing news for our school and community,” Pasadena Elementary Principal Jennifer Quirino said. “I am thankful to have an awesome group of colleagues inside our building who go to great lengths for our students, and the support we receive from our community is just incredible. I am thrilled for the students, staff, and community members who share in this honor.”

Support from the community business association and local retailers has enabled Pasadena Elementary to construct an outdoor classroom space and purchase additional technology resources. The school is also a Maryland Green School and a 2015 AACPS Wellness School of Distinction.

In addition to Arnold and Pasadena, Benfield (2000-01), Bodkin (2000-01), Broadneck (2007-08), Crofton Meadows (2011-12), Folger McKinsey (2004-05), Jones (2002-03), Lake Shore (2015-16) Linthicum (2013-14) Mayo (1996-97), Oak Hill (1998-99), Severna Park (2015-16) 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 King at an awards conference in Washington, D.C., next month.

A complete list of National Blue Ribbon Schools can be found here.