What Did These New Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools Have in Common?

We celebrate each and every child’s reading success, so you can imagine how pleased we feel when an entire school can boast great reading achievements! We’re doubly proud to share that the newest Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools include Chadwick Elementary and Charlesmont Elementary, both of which have participated in American Reading Company’s 100 BOOK CHALLENGE and RESEARCH LABS. Both schools have met rigorous standards developed by the MD State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education, and they now qualify for national Blue Ribbon designation!

TOWSON, MD. – The Maryland State Department of Education announced today that Chadwick Elementary School and Charlesmont Elementary School are two of the six schools throughout the state to be named 2013 Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools.

“It is noteworthy that both Chadwick and Charlesmont are Title I schools with high percentages of students from economically disadvantaged families and communities," said Dr. S. Dallas Dance, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. “The success of these schools proves once again that family income does not determine academic achievement. Great teachers and principals, involved parents, a strong academic program, and engaged students make all the difference. High academic achievement is our goal for every student in every school. Chadwick and Charlesmont help us achieve that and set an example of how to raise the bar."

The strength of Chadwick Elementary School’s academic program is demonstrated by its performance in the Maryland School Assessment program. All of the school’s students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 scored proficient or advanced in mathematics, and 98.9 were proficient or advanced in reading. From 2009–2011, Chadwick was recognized as a Distinguished Highest Performing Reward School. In 2009, the school received the Maryland Title I Distinguished School Award. A vast array of co-curricular activities – such as MESA Team, ELL Homework Helpers, Math Club, and Math 24 Challenge – encourage students’ intellectual curiosity, and a professional development school relationship with Loyola University enhances teacher effectiveness. At Chadwick Elementary School, 78 percent of students are from economically disadvantaged families, and nearly 25 percent qualify for English Language Learning services.

Charlesmont Elementary School has also been a high achiever on the Maryland School Assessments, with more than 97.5 percent of students scoring proficient or advanced in reading and 98.7 percent in mathematics. Monthly parent involvement activities promote collaborative learning at the school, and membership in the Alliance for Healthy Schools program encourages healthy habits and positive decision-making. Academic enrichment and acceleration take place through the 100 Book Challenge Reading, Research Lab Writing, FasttMath/Fraction Nation online Math, STEM Fair yearly competitions, and the afterschool Overachievers Program. Support from the Friends of Fort McHenry/War of 1812 Maryland Bicentennial Commission and the Southeast Foundation for the Arts Program connects students to local historical institutions and cultural arts events. At Charlesmont Elementary School, 65 percent of the students are from economically disadvantaged families.

Blue Ribbon School designation is a state and national program that recognizes schools that meet rigorous standards developed by the Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Now that they have been named Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools, Chadwick and Charlesmont elementary schools are candidates for national Blue Ribbon designation. National awardees will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education next September.

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