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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO: 5
POLICY CODE: AGA
TO: Superintendents of Schools, Elementary School Principals
FROM: J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner
DATE: July 17, 2000
RE: National Blue Ribbon Schools Program
I am pleased to invite you to participate in the 2000-01 Blue Ribbon Schools Program, for elementary schools, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the Maine Department of Education.
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program identifies and gives national recognition to a diverse group of public and private schools that are unusually effective in meeting local, state, and national goals in educating all of their students. The program seeks to promote school improvement nationwide through the collaborative self-evaluation process required of local school communities that participate. In addition, recognized schools serve as models for other schools and communities seeking to provide high quality education for all their students. This program allows us to demonstrate that todays schools can achieve excellence and to spotlight examples of what break-the-mold programs and practices might look like.
Criteria for selection as a national school of excellence include:
Student focus and support
School organization and culture
Challenging standards and curriculum
Active teaching and learning
Leadership and educational vitality
School, family, and community partnerships
Indicators of success
Special Emphasis areas (optional): Special Education, Technology
The quality of each school is judged in the context of how successfully it is meeting its own goals and how well its programs are tailored to local needs. Nevertheless, for a school to be judged deserving of national recognition, it must show significant progress in meeting state and national goals, and must have attained a standard of overall excellence that is worthy of respect and emulation by schools elsewhere of similar size characteristics.
Application material is available on the web at:
http://www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/BlueRibbonSchools/apply.html and contains specific eligibility requirements and further details of the 2000-01 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program. If you have questions, please call Dr. Horace P. Maxcy, Jr., at 287-5996 or Susan Smith at 287-5884. THE DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS IS OCTOBER 16, 2000.
I encourage you to consider participation in this program. I am confident that Maine will be well represented by its outstanding elementary schools in the 2000-01 national competition. Information about the 2001-2002 Blue Ribbon Schools Program for Middle Schools and High Schools should be available on the web site (see above) by January 2001.