Montgomery County Catholic School is National Blue Ribbon Winner

St. John the Baptist School in Silver Spring among only 50 private schools nationwide to be recognized

September 09, 2010

St. John the Baptist School, 12319 New Hampshire Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland, has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizing it as one of America’s most successful schools. St. John’s is one of only 50 private and 254 public schools nationwide to be honored this year.

“This is like winning the Super Bowl of education,” said Marianne Moore, principal of St. John the Baptist School for the past 19 years. “In the 49-year history of St. John the Baptist, this is our highest honor. I have the best teachers in the archdiocese, amazing parents and a wonderful pastor. It is what we accomplish every day that has brought us to this point.”

The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors private and public K-12 schools that are high performing or have shown significant improvement. St. John the Baptist School ranks in the top 10 percent of schools in the nation in both reading and math based on nationally normed tests and went through a rigorous application process to receive the Blue Ribbon honor.

St. John the Baptist’s success can be attributed to its high academic standards and active community. Nearly 90 percent of all parents volunteer in school activities, community outreach is emphasized and faculty turnover is very low (there have been only two principals in the past 38 years). The school’s challenging curricula includes a rigorous writing program that begins in the primary grades and an emphasis on technology that is integrated across all curriculum areas and grades. Each year, the teachers select a theme that is woven throughout activities in all grades. This year’s theme is “Called to Serve God.”

The kindergarten through 8th grade school has 262 students, 59 percent of whom are White and 41 percent of whom are Black, Asian, Hispanic or multi-ethnic.

St. John the Baptist is the sixth Catholic school in the Archdiocese of Washington to be named a National Blue Ribbon School in the past four years. Since 1982, schools in the archdiocese have been honored 26 times.

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 98 archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools, educating more than 28,500 students in Washington, DC and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.

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