Four schools from the Hudson Valley, and two from Westchester County, have made it onto the list of National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016, according to federal education officials.
Chosen for their overall academic excellence, or their progress in closing achievement gaps among students, were:
- Blind Brook High School, Rye Brook, Blind Brook-Rye Union Free School District.
- Todd Elementary School, Briarcliff Manor, Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District.
- Haldane High School, Cold Spring, Haldane Central School District.
- Nanuet Senior High School, Nanuet, Nanuet Union Free School District.
Nanuet school Superintendent Dr. Mark S. McNeill called the high school’s being selected “an incredible honor” that validates and confirms the district’s “dedication to excellence and continuous improvement.”
But the high school wouldn’t be where it is today, the superintendent added, without “the commitment of such a professional group of faculty members, a committed contingency of parents and diligent students.”
Dr. Sarah Chauncey, president of the Nanuet Board of Education echoed McNeill’s sentiments, saying that “building a solid foundation of excellence in vision, implementation and results doesn't happen overnight.”
“It is truly a team effort,” she added.
McNeil said the school district plans to celebrate the award at the school board regular meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15.
On Nov. 7 and 8, the Department of Education will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Haldane also plans to send a contingent of educators to the D.C. event, the school district announced on its website.
"This honor is one of culture, scholarship and community support that coalesces to provide a well-rounded educational experience for our children," the message said.
There were 329 schools chosen in all, according to U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr.
The fact that there are so many “are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers, King said in a video message to the honorees.
"Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices -- professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems -- making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation,” he added.
The award also acknowledges the hard work of not only students, teachers and administrators, but of their parents and other community stakeholders, King said.
Schools that receive the honor get a flag to display as a “widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”
Now in its 34th year, the program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools.
Nominations for the honors are accepted from the top education official in each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education.
The Council for American Private Education nominates private schools.
For brief descriptions of the Blue Ribbon award winners, click here .