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West Towson Elementary School on Tuesday was named a Blue Ribbon school by the Maryland State Department of Education.
“We are so proud of West Towson Elementary School for this latest honor and the high-quality academic program it provides all students,” BCPS Interim Superintendent Verletta White said in a statement. “Achieving Blue Ribbon status requires strong leadership and a fully engaged teaching staff and student body. Congratulations to Principal Hershfeld and the entire West Towson school community.”
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program, BCPS says, is a state and national program that recognizes and honors high performance as well as significant progress. Schools must meet rigorous standards developed by state’s education department and the U.S. Department of Education. This year, West Towson and the other honored schools were all selected in the category of exemplary high-achieving school. Each scored in the top 15 percent of all Maryland Schools on the 2017 PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) assessments. At West Towson Elementary, an average of 79 percent of all students met or exceeded expectations in math and English language arts.
As a Maryland Blue Ribbon School, West Towson will receive a Maryland Blue Ribbon flag, a monetary prize, $1,000 in office supplies, interactive technology equipment, and a school celebration. At a dinner in Annapolis in March, the winning schools will be celebrated by the Maryland House of Delegates and the Senate.
Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools compete for National Blue Ribbon Awards, which will be announced by USDE next year.
Other Towson-area Blue Ribbon schools are Dulaney High, Dumbarton Middle, Carver Center, Riderwood Elementary, Ridgely Middle, Timonium Elementary, and Towson High.
In awarding the prize, the Maryland Department of Education noted West Towson’s “PARCC scores with an average of 79% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts. In 2014, the school was one of 10 Baltimore County Public Schools initiating the district’s Spanish language instruction program which has grown and now reaches all West Towson students in grades four and five. West Towson, a Maryland Green School, is the school system’s first LEED certified school, earning silver level recognition for the building’s minimized impact on the environment, focus on occupant health, and instructional programs emphasizing environmental literacy. West Towson earned a bronze level award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for implementing healthy practices reflecting improved student performance. A Professional Development School with Towson University, West Towson is instrumental in training primary level teacher interns.”