January 5, 2011 – Ten Blue Ribbon Schools Honored at NJ State Board of Education Meeting

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Alan Guenther, Director
Allison Kobus

Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011

609-292-1126

Trenton, NJ - Ten New Jersey schools were recognized today by the New Jersey State Board of Education for achieving prestigious federal “Blue Ribbon” status. New Jersey’s acting Commissioner of Education, Rochelle Hendricks, said the program identifies and shares best school leadership and teaching practices.

“It is indeed an honor and a privilege to receive this award. Our 10 Blue Ribbon schools illustrate the vision that Governor Christie and I share for quality education throughout this state,” acting Commissioner Hendricks said. “While every school is unique, all high-achieving schools share certain cultural elements. Among them are faith in students’ ability; academic rigor; partnerships with families and communities; a concern for student safety; consistent discipline and the ability to use every resource available to meet students’ needs.”

Each year since 1982, the United States Secretary of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that overcome difficult circumstances. The Blue Ribbon Schools program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are either high performing or have greatly improved student achievement, especially among disadvantaged students.

High-performing schools, whose students score consistently well in areas of reading and math, can receive the designation regardless of their student demographics. They are in the top 10 percent of all schools on state assessment scores for both areas.

For schools to receive the designation under the most improved category, at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds must improve their performance in reading and math. The school must demonstrate a positive trend in test results from the earliest to the most recent year tested and rate in the top 40 percent of schools in the nation in reading and mathematics.

“Achieving Blue Ribbon status is not just about the end result --  higher test scores – but it is about the whole journey to get there. To be a Blue Ribbon School takes a ‘whole school effort,’ acting Commissioner Hendricks said. “It involves all components of a student’s day. It involves the lunch ladies and the crossing guards, the teachers and librarians, the staff and parents. All are important in creating an environment for students’ success,” she said.

The Blue Ribbon Schools are listed below:

Fort Lee School No. 3, Fort Lee
Grant School, Ridgefield Park
Gray Charter School, Newark
Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy, Livingston
Lynn Crest Elementary School, Colonia
Martin Luther King Elementary School, Edison
North Star Academy Charter School of Newark
Ocean Gate Elementary School, Ocean Gate
Roosevelt Elementary School, North Arlington
Saint Ann School, Lawrenceville

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