September 20, 2011 • Vol. XXXV • No. 10
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NJ Schools Earn Blue Ribbon Status

Fourteen New Jersey schools – seven public and seven private – have been named “National Blue Ribbon Schools” by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either high performing or have improved student achievement to high levels, particularly among disadvantaged students.

The seven public schools that earned the Blue Ribbon designation include:

  • Lincoln Elementary School (Ridgefield Park, Bergen County)
  • New Providence High School (New Providence, Union County)
  • Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (Rumson, Monmouth County)
  • Terence C. Reilly School No. 7 (Elizabeth, Union County)
  • Tewksbury Elementary School (Califon, Hunterdon County)
  • Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (Hawthorne, Passaic County)
  • Watchung School (Montclair, Essex County)

National Program The 14 New Jersey schools are among 305 nationally named as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2011. Each year since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors schools based on one of two criteria: 1) Schools with high-performing students, as measured by state assessments (or in the case of private schools, that score well on nationally-normed tests); or 2) Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that improve student performance to high levels, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

States Nominate The U.S. Department of Education asks the top education official in each state for nominations for the Blue Ribbon Schools Award. It also solicits nominations from the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education.

The Council for American Private Education nominates private schools for the award. The seven New Jersey private schools earning the Blue Ribbon designation include Holy Trinity Interparochial School (Westfield, Union County); Our Lady of Mercy Academy (Park Ridge, Bergen County); Our Lady of the Lake School (Verona, Essex County); Saint Elizabeth School (Wyckoff, Bergen County); Saint John's Academy (Hillsdale, Bergen County); St. John the Apostle School (Clark, Union County); and St. Joseph School (Oradell, Bergen County).

More information is available from the U.S. Department of Education’s news release on the 2011 Blue Ribbon recipients.


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