Northern Middle School Named 2010 National Blue Ribbon School

PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (Sept. 13, 2010)—The U.S. Department of Education on Friday named Northern Middle School as one of the 2010 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Only 304 schools nationwide and five schools in Maryland received this honor.

The award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools whose students achieve at very high levels or have made significant progress and helped close gaps in achievement especially among disadvantaged and minority students.

“Northern Middle School is truly honored and humbled to be selected as a National Blue Ribbon School,” said Karen Burnett, Northern Middle School principal. “We are excited to represent the commitment and care that is extended to improving learning in Calvert County, throughout the State of Maryland and on a nationwide level. We pay tribute to the dedicated educators and support staff, the cadre of involved and concerned parents and community members, and the leadership within Calvert County and the Calvert County Public School system which strives to do the best for children.”

A press release from the Maryland State Department of Education stated that Northern Middle was chosen in December, 2009, as one of Maryland’s five Blue Ribbon Schools because it “exemplifies high achievement with 8th grade students scoring 94.9 percent proficient and above in reading and 93.7 percent in math. Foreign language is emphasized with 52 percent of students completing two full years of Spanish or French. In math, 35 percent of students complete Algebra I by the end of the 8th grade and 25 percent complete Algebra II. Northern Middle is a [Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports] silver school [and] is also a winner in competitive athletic programs with champion women’s basketball and softball teams. The school also has numerous opportunities in the performing arts.”

After becoming a Maryland Blue Ribbon School, Northern Middle advanced to the national competition.

“[staff members at Northern Middle] support the understandings and skills needed to thrive in an ever-changing world,” said Burnett. “We know our responsibility comes laden with increasing challenges. However, we believe that all children deserve the opportunity to learn, explore, and dream. Therefore, it is paramount that as public educators we focus on our mission of ‘learning first,’ with regard and care for the individual learner and continued desire to improve instructional practice.”

Northern Middle school will be honored at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. in November.

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