Urbana Elementary School has been named one of 349 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018.
“It’s a very limited group of schools that ever receive this award, and the application process is through invitation only, so even being invited to apply for the award is really quite an honor,” Urbana Elementary Principal Tess Blumenthal said in an interview Tuesday. “In our case, we were awarded it for maintaining high achievement over a period of time, and that’s really quite significant for any school to be able to maintain.”
Blumenthal said she and staff members hope to have a celebration for the entire school.
“The assistant principal and I went around to each classroom to tell them personally, and I presented each teacher with a little blue ribbon to wear,” Blumenthal said. “I really wanted to make eye contact with each teacher and the students when I told them the news.”
Blue Ribbon Schools must demonstrate consistent high achievement or improvement of the achievement gap. The award honors both public and private schools at all levels.
Urbana Elementary was also named a 2017-2018 Maryland Blue Ribbon School, meaning it showed exemplary performance by scoring in the top 15 percent of all Maryland schools on state tests.
Blumenthal, one staff member, and the FCPS superintendent are invited to an ceremony for national recipients in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 7 and Nov. 8. They will meet with the leaders of other award recipients from across the country and engage in roundtable discussions.
“We are deeply grateful for this prestigious designation,” FCPS Superintendent Terry Alban said in a press release. “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.”
Other FCPS schools to win the national award are Centerville Elementary, Kemptown Elementary, New Market Elementary, Windsor Knolls Middle School, Middletown Middle School, Yellow Springs Elementary School, Frederick High School, Linganore High School, Gov. Thomas Johnson High School, Middletown Elementary School and Middletown High School.