Two Local Schools Earn Blue Ribbon Status
September 24, 2013 — Two area schools are 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized them today among 286 schools as the nation’s 2013 National Blue Ribbon Schools, based on overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student academic achievement.
Morgan Township Elementary School in the East Porter County School Corporation and Jonas E. Salk Elementary School in Merrillville School Corporation earned the achievement.
Michelle Friesen-Carper is principal of Morgan Elementary, and Salk Elementary Principal Kara Bonin says, “Being named a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School is a reflection of the “Kids First” belief of Salk Elementary. This recognition is a validation of the effort, dedication, and ‘no excuse’ motto of the Salk Staff, students, and parents. We are so honored and humbled by this honor.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement.
Merrillville’s Superintendent Dr. Mark Sperling says, “It is such a moment as this that makes all of your hard work worth it. What you as a staff have accomplished is incredible! Having it recognized by the State and National Departments of Education just adds to our belief that our students rise above in their academic achievement to be one of the very best of all elementary schools across the Nation.”
The Department of Education says it will honor 236 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C. In its 31-year history the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this award on nearly 7,500 of the nation’s schools.
“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” said Secretary Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”
The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing,” in which schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is “Exemplary Improving,” in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.