Six Maryland schools earn Blue Ribbon status

Elementaries recognized for test scores, leadership

September 18, 2004|By Sara Neufeld and Hanah Cho | Sara Neufeld and Hanah Cho,SUN STAFF

Carroll Manor Elementary in Baldwin, Centennial Lane Elementary in Ellicott City and four other Maryland schools were named Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education yesterday.

The six elementary schools were named Maryland Blue Ribbon schools last year and represented the state in a national competition. The federal Education Department selected all six schools submitted by Maryland in naming 255 winners nationwide.

The other Maryland schools are Beacon Heights Elementary in Prince George's County, Carderock Springs Elementary in Montgomery County, Preston Elementary in Caroline County and Snow Hill Elementary in Worcester County, according to a news release from the Maryland State Department of Education.

The schools were selected based on leadership, vision, teaching, curriculum, parental involvement and other criteria.

Three of the winning schools, including Carroll Manor and Centennial Lane, score in the top 10 percent of all Maryland schools on the state's standardized tests. The other three schools serve economically disadvantaged communities whose test scores have shown substantial improvement in recent years.

"We're honored, and we're thrilled that the federal government has recognized us," said Robert Bruce, Centennial Lane's principal. "I've always known that this school is a Blue Ribbon School."

Bruce attributed the school's success to several factors, including an emphasis on phonics and reading comprehension and a reading intervention program.

Carroll Manor made headlines this week for being one of four schools in Maryland where 100 percent of fourth-graders passed state tests in reading and math.

Carroll Manor's principal, John Kroh, has attributed his school's success to dedicated and experienced teachers, children who come to school ready to learn and supportive parents.

"If you have all three pieces, you're going to be successful," he said in an interview Tuesday after the test score release. "If you're missing one, you've got to work extra hard."

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