Woodholme Elementary School has officially earned national honors.
Baltimore County Public Schools announced Friday that the U.S. Department of Education named it a 2012-13 National Blue Ribbon School.
Representatives of Woodholme will be invited to Washington, DC, to be honored by national officials, including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, according to the school system news release.
Woodholme is only 7 years old, but is the first elementary school since 2009 to get this national honor within the Baltimore County Public Schools system.
“In just seven years since opened, its students and staff have earned a truly impressive array of recognitions and accomplishments,” BCPS Superintendent S. Dallas Dance said in a statement.
It's the 14th BCPS school to earn the national honor, the release states. And it's among six public schools in the state that have gotten the honor for this school year.
“This National Blue Ribbon award reaffirms the school’s overall strength, from the leadership of principal Maralee Clark and her faculty to the consistent level of achievement of the school’s student body,” Dance said.
Clark said it's an honor achieved by the entire Woodholme Elementary community.
“Woodholme’s success reflects the deep commitment, involvement and support from everyone involved in the teaching and learning process," she said in a statement.
She thanked staff members, parents and community partners for their part "in preparing our Woodholme students to be college–ready and career–ready."
The National Blue Ribbon Schools program honors public and private schools that achieve academic superiority or for dramatic gains in student achievement, the release states.
Woodholme has 780 students and was designed to be focused on science, mathematics and technology.
Overall, students achieved 96 percent proficiency and above in both Maryland School Assessment mathematics and reading test scores.
In MSA mathematics, 91 of the school’s 132 fourth-grade students scored in the advanced range and 103 out of 149 fifth-grade students scored advanced on the state reading test.
"Among schools statewide with similar demographics, Woodholme has ranked first in both math and reading," the release states.
Last year, Towson High School became the second Baltimore County public high school to earn National Blue Ribbon status.
According to the release, the following schools have earned the status: Eastern Technical High School; Carroll Manor, Middlesex, Red House Run, Riderwood, Seventh District, Sparks, Summit Park, and Timonium elementary schools; and Dumbarton, Hereford, and Ridgely middle schools.
Baltimore County Public Schools have celebrated National Blue Ribbon designations for eight of the past nine years.