Saint Joseph Catholic School (Chester County), Saint Maximilian Kolbe Catholic School (Chester County), Saints Simon and Jude Catholic School (Chester County), and Saint Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School (Montgomery County) selected as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools
Saint Joseph Catholic School in Downingtown (Chester County), Saint Maximilian Kolbe Catholic School in West Chester (Chester County), Saints Simon and Jude Catholic School in West Chester (Chester County), and Saint Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School in Schwenksville (Montgomery County) were selected as part of the 2017 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools in an announcement made by Betsy DeVos, Secretary of the United States Department of Education (USDOE), today.
These schools are four of only 341 total schools chosen nationally. Each school was chosen for “overall academic excellence” and is a first time recipient of National Blue Ribbon School recognition.
With today’s announcement, a total of 23 parish and regional Catholic elementary schools in the five-county Archdiocese have been recognized with Blue Ribbon Status since the program’s inception in 1982. Saint Genevieve Catholic School in Flourtown (Montgomery County) has received this honor more times than any school in the Archdiocese (2000, 2006, and 2016).
The USDOE will hold a recognition ceremony for Blue Ribbon Schools during the week of November 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Representatives from the four schools as noted above will be present.
In addition to the national recognition ceremony, each of the four schools have planned or are in the process of planning local celebrations. Additional information can be found below.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta School will hold a parish-wide celebration in the school gymnasium for school families in grades PreK through eight, parishioners, teachers, and staff, along with school and parish administrators. Special invited guests include Pennsylvania State Senator, John Rafferty, Jr.; Pennsylvania State Representative, Tom Quigley; Chief Operating Officer and Secretary for Catholic Education, Mr. Christopher Mominey, and Interim Superintendent of Elementary Schools, Ms. Judy Sweeney
Saint Joseph Catholic School in Downingtown is holding a school-wide gathering featuring a special performance by the school band. Special invited guests include representatives from the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (I.H.M.) and administrators from the Office of Catholic Education. Reverend Monsignor Joseph C. McLoone, Pastor of Saint Joseph Parish, will share remarks with all in attendance.
Saints Simon and Jude Catholic School will gather in the school gymnasium for its “National Blue Ribbon School Day’ with the entire school community including teachers, staff, and almost 400 students in PreK through eight donning customized blue ribbon t-shirts and will share in special activities and treats.
Saint Maximilian Kolbe Catholic School has scheduled a school pep rally and celebration in its upper school parking lot. The celebration will include music, cheerleaders, blue ribbon school t-shirts, and the unveiling of an official Blue Ribbon school banner. The home and school board will host this event for all school families in grades PreK through eight as well as parishioners, teachers, and school and parish staff.
Ms. Judy Sweeney, Interim Superintendent for Elementary Schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia reacted to the announcement by saying, “We are thrilled that four of our elementary schools have been recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Program for their academic excellence. These schools represent the best and brightest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and we are immensely proud of their achievements. OCE and the faculty, staff, and administrators of the 119 parish and regional elementary, 4 special education, and 17 high schools in the Archdiocese remain dedicated to equipping saints for life in this world and the next. These four elementary schools are wonderful examples of that dedication in action.”
# # #
Editor’s Notes: For information about schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia please visit www.aopcatholicschools.org. For a complete list of 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools visit https://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/.
Founded in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ academic achievement. Since the program’s founding, the U.S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,000 of America’s schools.