U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced the 349 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2018. Among those schools, three from the Archdiocese of Newark were recognized as, “Exemplary High Performing Schools”: Christ the Teacher School in Fort Lee, Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Park Ridge, and Transfiguration Academy in Bergenfield. The award is based on overall academic excellence.
“I’m pleased to celebrate with you as your school is named a National Blue Ribbon School,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in a video message to the honorees. “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives. Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”
Christ the Teacher School in Fort Lee, Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Park Ridge, and Transfiguration Academy in Bergenfield join the other 22 schools in the Archdiocese of Newark who have received such a distinction since 2011. Thus far, 38.7% of our Catholic elementary schools have been recognized, and we look forward to more receiving this distinction in years to come. This is Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Park Ridge second time receiving this prestigious distinction.
“This honor is a testament to the dedication of the faculty, staff, and administrators at each of these schools,” said Dr. Margret Dames, Secretary for Catholic Education/Superintendent of Schools. Dames went on to say “It is an honor to have so many schools in the Archdiocese recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning. National Blue Ribbon Schools are an inspiration and a model for schools still striving for excellence.
Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed recognition on more than 8,800 schools. On November 7-8, the Secretary and the Department of Education will celebrate with 300 public and 49 private school honorees at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).