McKinley Middle receives national Blue Ribbon Award again | Business
From EBR Schools
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recognized McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School for the second time as a National Blue Ribbon award winner. In all, the East Baton Rouge Parish School System (EBRPSS) has nine Blue Ribbon Schools, but 11 Blue Ribbon Awards (Baton Rouge Magnet High School also has received the award twice).
McKinley Middle School was one of only five schools in the state to receive the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools Award and the only school in this area of the state to be recognized for this national distinction.
In all, the U.S. Department of Education recognized 269 schools across the United States today as 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools based on their overall academic excellence or for making progress in improving student academic achievement levels. The 219 public and 50 private schools will be honored by the Department at a recognition ceremony November 12-13 in Washington, D.C.
EBRPSS’ nine Blue Ribbon Schools are: Baton Rouge Magnet High – 1983 and 2003, Forest Heights Academy of Excellence (elementary) - 2008, Glasgow Middle - 2007, McKinley Middle – 1984 (and now 2012), Northeast Elementary (1994), Ryan Elementary - 2010, Shenandoah Elementary - 2006, Sherwood Middle
Academic Magnet – 2009 and Westdale Heights Academic Magnet (elementary) - 2008.
The U.S. Department of Education has used EBRPSS public schools with Blue Ribbon designations as examples of templates for such high-performing schools. In fact, in the spring of 2010 Department representatives made two visits to EBRPSS Blue Ribbon Schools to record teachers in action and show best teaching practices in a video.
That video, which was released in the fall of 2010, is still available online at the U.S. Department of Education’s website, http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html, in the Features Section. Produced by the History Channel, it tells the story of Forest Heights Academy of Excellence, which is a Magnet school, and its use of arts programs to enhance traditional learning environments and experiences.
Under the leadership of Principal Herman R. Brister, McKinley Middle Academic Magnet School is a visual and performing arts Magnet school offering an academically focused program for college-bound students. It is the only middle school in the district that offers advanced academic programs with an integrated arts program, and its School Performance Score has increased from 101 to 121 over the past four years. McKinley Middle School’s awards include the states High Performing/High Poverty Schools Award for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012; the Magnet Schools of America School of Distinction Award for 2006 and 2012; and recognitions by the state for Exemplary Growth and Academic Growth, both in 2009. It features a wide range of instructional opportunities offering:
- High School Credit Courses: Spanish I, French I, Algebra 1, Geometry, Intro to Business Computer Applications and Physical Science
- An Award-Winning Visual Arts Program: Art, Arts & Crafts, Drawing and Painting, Stage Craft Design, TV/Film Productions, Writing for Media, Creative Writing with Arts Integration and Web Design
- An Award-Winning Performing Arts Program: Drama, Musical Theatre, Dance, Ballet, Choir, Strings, Piano and Band
- Talented Services: Talented Art, Talented Drama and Talented Music
- Facility: Ultra Modern Theater, Dance Studio and classrooms specifically built for the enhancement of the arts
- International and National Travel: Students have traveled to Rome, Greece, London, Paris and Spain. This school year, the students will travel to Beijing and, domestically, to Washington, D.C.; New York; Orlando; Atlanta; and Houston.
"McKinley Middle School exemplifies the best in our local public education system -- from its hard-working students and highly qualified teachers to its strong and caring school leaders and supportive parents and community members,” said Dr. Bernard Taylor, Jr., EBRPSS’ superintendent. “It has shown what we can accomplish when we all work together to provide children the best education possible. I congratulate the Mr. Brister and his staff on a job well done and thank them for their dedication and service to the children of East Baton Rouge Parish.”
In its 30-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on nearly 7,000 American schools. The award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement.
The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing,” in which schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. The second category is “Exemplary Improving,” in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
To select National Blue Ribbon Schools, the Department requests nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. For more information, visit http://www.ed.gov/nationalblueribbonschools or contact Principal Brister at either (225) 388-0089 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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