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For More Information Contact the Public Information Office:
    Ron Rice
    Kathryn Forsyth

For Release: December 1, 2004

DOE Honors Eight 2004 No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools

Commissioner William L. Librera introduced New Jersey’s eight Blue Ribbon schools for 2004 to the State Board of Education. The schools were among the 289 public and private schools selected nationwide by the United States Department of Education.

"The Blue Ribbon Schools awards carry a lot of prestige because they have for many years symbolized the best schools in the nation," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "I am pleased and quite proud that New Jersey, with eight winning schools this year, continues to excel."

"Today, we honor these schools as a testament to strong school leadership and programs that challenge all students," said Commissioner Librera. "The increase in the number of New Jersey schools honored this year and the number of other nationwide awards and accolades clearly show that collectively we are making great strides in the provision of excellent education for all students." Last year, New Jersey had five Blue Ribbon Schools.

"The State Board joins the Commissioner in expressing our pride in the achievements of the outstanding schools," added State Board of Education President Arnold G. Hyndman. "In honoring these schools, the federal government honors the commitment to excellence shared by the respective school administrators, faculty, parents, community, district board of education, and, most importantly, the students."

New Jersey’s Blue Ribbon Schools for 2004 are:

  • Branch Brook Elementary School in Newark;
  • Chatham High School in Chatham;
  • Haddonfield Memorial High School in Haddonfield;
  • Princeton Charter School in Princeton Township;
  • Roosevelt Intermediate School in Westfield;
  • Union County Magnet School in Scotch Plains;
  • Woodrow Wilson School in Union City; and
  • The Yeshiva of North Jersey in River Edge

Established in 1982, the No Child Left Behind—Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private K-12 schools that are either academically superior in their states or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.

The program requires schools to meet either of two assessment criteria. It recognizes schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance in accordance with state assessment systems; and it rewards schools that score in the top 10 percent on state assessments. Of the schools submitted by each state, at least one-third must meet the first criterion of having 40 percent of the students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The program allows both elementary and secondary schools to be recognized in the same year.

There are well over 100,000 public and private schools in the country. Of those schools, fewer than 300 can claim to be Blue Ribbon Schools, which is less than half a percent.

For more information, please contact the Department of Education’s Public Information Office at (609) 292-1126.