U.S. Education Department names two Queens schools as National Blue Ribbon award winners

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Photo via U.S. Department of Education National Blue Ribbon Award Program

P.S. 46 Alley Pond Elementary School in Bayside and P.S. 94 David D. Porter Elementary School in Little Neck were recognized as National Blue Ribbon 2020 award winners by the U.S. Department of Education.

Both schools, located in Community District Education Council 26, were awarded for their overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.  

“Congratulations to this year’s National Blue Ribbon School awardees,” said Betsy DeVos, U.S. Department Education Secretary. “It’s a privilege to recognize the extraordinary work you do to meet students’ needs and prepare them for successful careers and meaningful lives.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 

Following its motto, “Learning today. Leading tomorrow,” the administration, teachers, providers and paraprofessionals at P.S. 46 work collaboratively to ensure that all students — of all backgrounds and ability levels — have access to engaging and meaningful activities.

With the highest number of students with disabilities in the district, P.S. 46, located at 64-45 218th St., includes highly specialized programs such as Horizon (ASD/Autism Spectrum Disorder) and ACES (Academic, Career, Essential Skills) self-contained programs.

At P.S. 94, located at 41-77 Little Neck Parkway, there are a variety of enrichment and extracurricular activities such as Suzuki, violin, glee club, art/OT club, STEM club, student council and much more. 

The school has also established a partnership with community organizations such as the North Shore Animal League, March of Dimes Walk-a-Thon, American Heart Association and Queens College. 

During the last six years, the school leader and staff at P.S. 94 have put a strong process in place to regularly evaluate and adjust curricular and instructional practices in response to student learning needs and the expectations of the Next Generation Learning Standards (NGLS). Their core belief is that every student can learn, just not in the same way or the same day.

Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years. 

The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:

  • Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
  • Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year for the Blue Ribbon Award. 

The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education officials in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by The Council for American Private Education (CAPE).

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. 

“While we regret not having the opportunity to celebrate in person, given the current situation regarding COVID-19, we will celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees in the ways that we are able, and they will each receive their plaques and flags via mail,” the department said.