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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO:   60     

 

POLICY CODE:        AGA

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools, Middle, Junior High and High School Principals

 

FROM:           J. Duke Albanese, Commissioner

 

DATE:            March 9, 2001

 

RE:                 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program

 

I am pleased to invite you to participate in the 2001-02 Blue Ribbon Schools Program for middle, junior high, and high 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 today’s 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

•           Professional community

•           Leadership and educational vitality

•           School, family, and community partnerships

•           Indicators of academic success

•           Special Emphasis areas (optional): Special Education or 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 2001-02 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program.  If you have questions, please call Dr. Horace P. Maxcy, Jr., at 624-6774 or Susan Smith at 624-6775.  Please notify them of your intent to file an application by September 21, 2001.  THE DEADLINE FOR RECEIPT OF APPLICATIONS IS OCTOBER 19, 2001.

 

I encourage you to consider participation in this program.  I am confident that Maine will be well represented by its outstanding middle, junior high, and high schools in the 2001-02 national competition.