School Notes: Four schools in Montgomery County make National Blue Ribbon list

School Notes: Four schools in Montgomery County make National Blue Ribbon list

Plus: School board appoints new chief of staff for superintendent

| Published:

This story was updated at 8:45 a.m. Sept. 25, 2020, to include additional schools on the list.

Four schools in Montgomery County are on National Blue Ribbon list

Lucy V. Barnsley Elementary School in Rockville was the only public school from Montgomery County to be named a National Blue Ribbon School on Thursday.

Three non-public schools in the county also received the honor:

• Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville
• Our Lady of Mercy School in Potomac
• Saint Peter’s School in Olney

Barnsley was one of 317 public schools chosen for the honor by the U.S. Department of Education for its “high performance and/or significant improvement in reading and mathematics achievement as measured by Maryland assessments,” according to a news release from MCPS.

“The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups,” the news release said.

Fifty non-public schools nationwide were on the Blue Ribbon list.

Barnsley, with an enrollment of approximately 750 kindergarten through fifth-grade students, was named a state Blue Ribbon School in January. It had not received the award before.

The enrollment at Charles E. Smith was 920 in pre-K through 12 as of October 2019.

For Our Lady of Mercy School, the enrollment for that period was 218 for pre-K through 12. Saint Peter’s had 353 students in pre-K through 8.

Barnsley, which opened in 1966, was the first school in Maryland named after a woman. More than 40% of its students are in poverty, English language learners or have a disability, according to school system data.

It is one of 12 Montgomery County schools considered a “center for enriched studies,” designed for students in fourth and fifth grade who learn at a faster pace and can handle advanced concepts, according to MCPS. It is a “specialty” program for which students can apply.

The schools will be honored during a virtual ceremony in November.

School board appoints new chief of staff for superintendent

The Montgomery County Board of Education on Tuesday appointed a new chief of staff for Superintendent Jack Smith.

His new chief of staff, Karen Stratman, approved in a unanimous vote, is currently the director of national public engagement for the United States Department of Education. She has worked in various positions for the Department of Education since 1994, according to her resume included in school board documents.

Smith’s current chief of staff, Henry Johnson, is retiring.

The school board also appointed Gary Moseman as director of the MCPS Division of Design and Construction in the Department of Facilities Management. He has worked in the Department of Facilities Management since 2016.

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