East Greenwich High School, which consistently ranks among the top two or three high schools in the state, was named a Blue Ribbon school by U.S. Dept. of Education earlier this week, one of three schools in the state to achieve such recognition this year.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards, or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. East Greenwich High School was designated as an Exemplary High Performing School. (Learn more about the process in naming Blue Ribbon schools here.)

“We are honored and delighted to have East Greenwich High School named as a Blue Ribbon school. This accolade speaks to the collective hard work of the administration, faculty, staff, students, parents, and EGHS community members to set and meet high expectations for all of our students,” said Supt. Victor Mercurio.

According to EGHS Principal Michael Podraza, the state Department of Education nominated East Greenwich High School and other schools that met the Blue Ribbon criteria. A total of 420 schools may be nominated each year. Once nominated, a school then completes an application that includes information about demographics, curriculum and instruction, school supports, instructional strategies and test results.

The final step is a review by the U.S. Dept. of Education and certification by the state education department.

“I’m thrilled to have gotten the recognition,” said School Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Mark. “I think it’s a real testament to our administrators, our faculty and staff, and our students, who do what they do every single day despite limited resources.”

Mark was referring to the school district’s recent outside performance audit, which found the schools were underfunded by $1.2 million this year.

According to Supt. Mercurio, the application process for Blue Ribbon designation started last year and the data used in the application stretched back a year before that.

“The award is a testament to the hard work that the EGHS administration, faculty, staff, students and community engage in every day,” said Mercurio. “The audit also looks at our programs and systems from a district perspective. While amazing things happen in all of our schools every day that are sources of great pride, we can and must continue take steps to improve our practices, build capacity and sustainability for programs, initiatives and supports to students, faculty and staff.  This requires that we take steps at the central office level that require additional funding to support this work across the entire district more consistently and effectively.”

Now in its 36th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has recognized more than 8,800 schools. This year’s honorees will be celebrated at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on November 7 and 8.

Representatives from the district are invited to attend an awards ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington D.C. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is in its 36th year and has recognized more than 8,800 schools, including Cole Middle School in 2015.


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