Three schools in Delaware were among the 353 across America that have been honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2023.
Appoquinimink School District’s Olive B. Loss Elementary School in Bear, Christina School District’s Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Newark and Indian River School District’s Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View are the three awarded by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona.
“Receiving this prestigious award affirms the dedication and hard work of each and every educator at Lord Baltimore,” said Principal Pam Webb. “The relationships we have established with our families, students and community foster a positive learning environment to meet the needs of our students academically, behaviorally and socially.”
District superintendent Jay Owens said that “being ranked among the best schools in the United States is no small accomplishment and I commend the Lord Baltimore staff, students and families for the commitment and dedication that produced this honor.”
This is the 40th year that the U.S. Department of Education has announced its selection of Blue Ribbon Schools.
The department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
- Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students. Nominated schools also complete a narrative application describing their school culture and philosophy, curriculum, assessments, instructional practices, professional development, leadership structures and parent and community involvement.
Lord Baltimore Elementary has just under 600 students, a 63.85% proficiency rate in English language arts and a 66.22% proficiency rate in math.
To compare, just 40.76% of all Delaware students are proficient in English language arts and 30.91% are proficient in math.
Also, 79.21% of all Delaware students have on-track in attendance, which shows the percent of students who missed less than 10% of school days.
Lord Baltimore has a 84.74% on-track attendance rate.
Its student body is made up of 16.06% minority students, 4.84% English language learners, 12.26% low-income students and 12.26% students with disabilities.
“The honorees for our 2023 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award have set a national example for what it means to raise the bar in education,” Cardona said. “The leaders, educators, and staff at our National Blue Ribbon Schools continually inspire me with their dedication to fostering academic excellence and building positive school cultures that support students of all backgrounds to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally.”
Appo’s Olive B. Loss Elementary also has just shy of 600 students, 60.52% of whom are proficient in English language arts and 60.74% proficient in math. Its on-track attendance rate is 86.12%.
The school’s enrollment includes 57.64% minority students, 8.68% English language learners, 6.77% low-income students and 10.24% students with disabilities.
Continuing the trend, Christina’s Thurgood Marshall Elementary has close to 600 students.
The school has a 51.49% proficiency rate in English language arts and 45.93% in math. It has the highest on-track attendance percentage of the three Blue Ribbon Schools with a rate of 87.71%.
The three schools that won the award last year were Cab Calloway School of the Arts and Linden Hill Elementary, both in Red Clay Consolidated School District, and North Dover Elementary in Colonial School School District.
Raised in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Jarek earned a B.A. in journalism and a B.A. in political science from Temple University in 2021. After running CNN’s Michael Smerconish’s YouTube channel, Jarek became a reporter for the Bucks County Herald before joining Delaware LIVE News.
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