St. Teresa of Cal­cutta named a Blue Rib­bon School

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

St. Teresa of Cal­cutta School has been named a National Blue Rib­bon School, the U.S. Dep­tart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion an­nounced.

It is one of only 18 schools in Penn­syl­va­nia and one of only 50 el­e­men­tary schools in the coun­try to be so des­ig­nated.

“We’re also the only school in Mont­gomery County to be named a Blue Rib­bon School,” said the Rev. Paul Brandt, pas­tor of St. Teresa of Cal­cutta par­ish.

The award is based on a school’s over­all aca­demic ex­cel­lence, ac­cord­ing to the National Blue Rib­bon Schools web­site.

In her video mes­sage, U.S. Sec­re­tary of Ed­u­ca­tion Betsy DeVos praised the 2017 schools say­ing “National Blue Rib­bon Schools are ac­tive demon­stra­tions of pre­par­ing ev­ery child for a bright fu­ture. You are vi­sion­ar­ies, in­no­va­tors, and lead­ers.”

Brandt said the school, now with 286 stu­dents, has been grow­ing in size since it opened in 2008 with 145 stu­dents.

There hadn’t been a fo­cus on ap­ply­ing to be con­sid­ered a Blue Rib­bon School “un­til we re­al­ized when we looked at the qual­i­fi­ca­tions that we had achieved most of them, and then it was just a mat­ter of fill­ing out the ap­pli­ca­tion process,” Brandt said.

That’s no small task, given that just the ap­pli­ca­tion it­self takes up 26 pages.

Blue Rib­bon schools are nom­i­nated by the depart­ment of ed­u­ca­tion in their state and their ap­pli­ca­tions are then re­viewed at the national level in Washington, D.C.

St. Teresa was des­ig­nated in one of two cat­e­gories in which schools can be named — the ex­em­plary high-per­form­ing cat­e­gory, putting them among the top schools in the state.

The other cat­e­gory rec­og­nizes schools mak­ing the fastest progress in clos­ing achieve­ment gaps among un­der­achiev­ing groups.

Aca­demic achieve­ment is mea­sured through the use of the national Ter­raNova tests, said Brandt.

“This recog­ni­tion re­flects that St. Teresa is among the top 15 per­cent for aca­demic per­for­mance in the coun­try,” he said. “When I an­nounced it from the pul­pit Sun­day there was quite a round of ap­plause.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The Rev. Paul Brandt speaks dur­ing the Sept. 28 cel­e­bra­tion for St. Teresa of Cal­cutta be­ing named a National Blue Rib­bon School.

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