It is hard to escape the fact that a number of Mid-Shore public schools, particularly those serving economically disadvantaged students, are struggling a bit these days. Struggling to meet new performance tests, attract talented teachers, repair their school buildings, and a host of other issues, ranging from mental health to budget concerns and parental rights, as well as the ongoing challenge implantation of Maryland’s Blueprint for Education reforms.
In short, it’s a tough time for those schools and their teachers. And the Spy remains committed to reporting on those schools as they attempt to overcome these obstacles.
But the other day, we had a rare opportunity to report on the other side of the performance spectrum. A few months ago, Church Hill Elementary School gained a distinction only shared by six different schools in the entire state; it became a Blue Ribbon School.
The Blue Ribbon School program is a national one that recognizes elementary, middle, and high schools for academic performance in closing achievement gaps. And in Maryland, the only schools selected were:
- Northeast Elementary School, Allegany County Public Schools
- Oakdale High School, Frederick County Public Schools
- Stone Mill Elementary School, Montgomery County Public Schools
- Church Hill Elementary School, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
- Matapeake Elementary School, Queen Anne’s County Public Schools
- Smithsburg Middle School, Washington County Public Schools
State Board President Clarence Crawford said, “Each of these schools demonstrates the best of Maryland’s school system representing every region of our State. The educators, students, families, and staff that have led their school community to this distinction should serve as models for how we can lean forward on transformation in Maryland and build on the great work being done in all corners of the State.”
The Spy sat down with Susan Davis Walbert, principal of Church Hill Elementary School, to learn more.
This video is approximately four minutes in length.