Two from Maine Recognized as National Blue Ribbon Schools

AUGUSTA –Kennebunkport Consolidated School and the James F. Doughty School in Bangor recently received the U.S. Department of Education’s 2010 National Blue Ribbon School award at a ceremony in Washington D.C.

The two Maine schools were among 314 schools – 264 public and 50 private – from across the United States, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico that received the national recognition. 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.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke at the Nov. 16 event saying, “Schools honored with the Blue Ribbon Schools award are committed to achievement and to ensuring that students learn and succeed. Their work reflects the conviction that every child has promise and must receive a quality education.”

James F. Doughty School was recognized for its performance and also for creating a culture in which the entire community believes that demographics do not determine destiny. The curriculum invigorates, instruction models best practice, and expectations have risen to meet the demands of the 21st century. The school consistently ranks at the top of Maine middle schools of similar size and demographics, but is also on par with schools from more affluent communities, demonstrating that students from lower or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds can achieve at high levels.

Kennebunkport Consolidated School has created a positive and supportive climate ideal for teaching and learning. The strong and rigorous curriculum and engaging instructional strategies keep students involved as learners. Parent and community connections and support are encouraged and celebrated.

Principal Robert MacDonald and 8th grade English teacher Lisa McPhee of the James F. Doughty School, a grade 6-8 school, attended the event. From Kennebunkport Consolidated, a K-5 school, Principal Kathy Pence and 3rd grade teacher Lisa Miller attended.

Since 1982, the U.S. Department of Education has annually sought out schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds. In the past 28 years, more than 6,000 of America’s schools, including 40 from Maine, have received the award. The commissioner in each state nominates public schools, which are then invited by the secretary of education to submit a formal application.

A list containing all of the 2010 Blue Ribbon Schools is available at http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/awards.html .

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education

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