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All Six Maryland Blue Ribbon Schools Awarded National Blue Ribbons

One Nonpublic School Also Honored

BALTIMORE  –All six public schools awarded Maryland Blue Ribbons last year have been named 2018 National Blue Ribbon Schools by the U.S. Department of Education.

The State public schools receiving national honors are:


  • West Towson Elementary School, Baltimore County
  • Urbana Elementary School, Frederick County
  • Fallston Middle School, Harford County
  • Waterloo Elementary School, Howard County
  • Bannockburn Elementary School, Montgomery County
  • Luxmanor Elementary School, Montgomery County


In addition, Harford Day School, a nonpublic school in Harford County, received National Blue Ribbon honors.


The schools are recognized on the basis of rigorous State and national requirements for high achievement and significant improvement. The students in each of these schools are high achievers in reading and mathematics, and many serve a significant number of economically disadvantaged students. Maryland awarded the six public schools State Blue Ribbons in December 2017. Today’s honor verifies the excellence of those schools.

“Education is our number one priority, and these seven schools represent the best of what Maryland has to offer – exceptional teachers working with dedicated students to achieve great success in the classroom and beyond,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “We congratulate the leadership, teachers, students, parents, and everyone involved with these outstanding schools on this distinguished honor.”

Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools, agreed that outstanding teaching is at the heart of these schools’ success.

“This honor tells us a great deal about a school and how its teachers and administrators work together to help every student shine,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “We celebrate the innovation taking place at these schools. Congratulations to our National Blue Ribbon School students and staff.”


The U.S. Education Department invited National Blue Ribbon School nominations from top education officials in every state. Last year, 329 schools were recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence.


National honors will be awarded on Nov. 7 and 8 in Washington DC, where Education Secretary Betsy DeVos will congratulate the Blue Ribbon recipients.  “We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” Secretary DeVos said. “Congratulations on your students’ accomplishments and for your extraordinary commitment to meeting their unique needs.”


Maryland’s Platinum sponsors for the Blue Ribbon program are BGE; Comcast; Microsoft; and NTA Life. Gift sponsors are: Mrs. Field’s/Joe Corbi’s Pizza; Rudolph’s Office Supply; Lifetouch Photography; and SMART Technologies, Inc.



(Attached: Public Blue Ribbon School Profiles)




Baltimore County – West Towson Elementary School is proud of its PARCC scores with an average of 79% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts. In 2014, the school was one of 10 Baltimore County Public Schools initiating the district’s Spanish language instruction program which has grown and now reaches all West Towson students in grades four and five. West Towson, a Maryland Green School, is the school system’s first LEED certified school, earning silver level recognition for the building’s minimized impact on the environment, focus on occupant health, and instructional programs emphasizing environmental literacy.  West Towson earned a bronze level award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation for implementing healthy practices reflecting improved student performance.  A Professional Development School with Towson University, West Towson is instrumental in training primary level teacher interns.


Frederick County – Urbana Elementary School has two special programs integrated in its learning community- inclusive special education pre-kindergarten classes and three classes- one in third, fourth, and fifth grades for students identified as gifted and talented. The school has an average of 70% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts on the PARCC tests. Urbana is proud of its H.A.W.K. Kids Club – (Helping All With Kindness) – which promotes a culture of kindness around the school community. With the PTA, students participate in community and global outreach activities such as collecting over 500 pairs of socks for Socktober and over $650 in coins to support the National PTA Disaster Relief Fund.  Urbana is proud to have a 97.4% attendance rate and a Buddy Class Program where students mentor other students in different grades. Emphasis is on scholastic achievement along with rigor, relevance, and relationships.


Harford County – Fallston Middle School weaves reading into the fabric of its culture and instruction; as a result, it has won the Harford County Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Challenge for Middle Schools seven times in the last nine years, including the past four years in a row. The school has an average of 70% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts on the PARCC assessments. A strong commitment to supporting wellness for students and staff resulted in the school collecting over $124,000 for the American Heart Association.  Fallston regularly competes in the National Geographic Geography Bee, where three students advanced to competition at the state level.  Student works of art were showcased in the HCPS Calendars, the Maryland Treasury Building, and the Governor’s holiday tree. Fallston Middle is also a Professional Development School for Towson University.


Howard County – Waterloo Elementary School is a pre-k-5 school that also houses a regional program providing instruction and support for students with emotional disabilities.  With a disadvantaged student population of over 45%, the school has a PARCC average of 60% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts. Waterloo won a Gold Award three consecutive years for its implementation of PBIS.  Waterloo is also a professional development school with Towson University. In the past three years, 14 student teams from Waterloo earned Top 3 honors in the Rube Goldberg and Safe Racer Engineering Challenges; 16 students were chosen to participate in the HCPSS Band & Strings Honors and GT groups, and 66 students participated in the 5K Girls on the Run/Let Me Run programs that prepare them to compete in a 5K race. As a Certified Green School, students planted 122 trees around the school and created, landscaped, and now maintain a rain garden.


Montgomery County – Bannockburn Elementary School was named the top performing elementary school in the State of Maryland for the 2017 PARCC English Language Arts in grade 4 (ELA/4). The school has a PARCC average of over 89% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts.  In 2016, Bannockburn became a Certified Green School. It has built a strong partnership with parents and has a PTA membership participation rate that averages over 80% each year. The staff is committed to building their capacity through ongoing professional development, including programs like Mindfulness that impacts both teachers and students. Bannockburn has instituted a Growth Board to facilitate teacher-led data discussions to strategize and ensure growth for ALL students. Its mantra of first teaching is best teaching is evident in differentiated small group instruction in all subject areas.


Montgomery County – Luxmanor Elementary School has a diverse international student population, with 26% of students coming from 22 different countries speaking 22 different languages. Luxmanor is also home to unique special education programs, accounting for 13% of the school population.  Still, with 45% disadvantaged students, Luxmanor has an average of over 65% of all students meeting or exceeding expectations in math and English language arts. Beyond the classroom, students’ efforts have impacted the community through annual food, clothing and school supply drives and fundraising.  The school’s student energy and recycling team have contributed to its Maryland Green School certification. Luxmanor is also home to the 2017 Marian Greenblatt Elementary Master Teacher award winner for MCPS.  The school supports student mentoring relationships between general and special education students.