On Friday, September 7, The U.S. Department of Education awarded Notre Dame Preparatory School 2012 National Blue Ribbon School status based on its overall academic excellence. NDP is among 269 schools nationwide to receive this honor. In addition, of the 10 Maryland schools recognized, NDP is the only middle/ high school, the only independent school, and one of two Catholic schools from the Archdiocese of Baltimore to be honored. The National Blue Ribbon School award ceremony will take place November 12-13 in Washington, D.C.
“We are honored and humbled that Notre Dame Preparatory School has been recognized not only as one of the finest schools in the state of Maryland but also in the country!” said Sister Patricia McCarron, SSND, Ph.D. “This recognition is a tribute to our exemplary faculty and staff and to our talented students who rise to the challenge everyday through their hard work, energy and spirit. The Blue Ribbon Award is an honor that belongs to our community!”
The announcement was made to the NDP community at a school-wide assembly, where students and faculty/staff heard first-hand about the Blue Ribbon process from Sister Patricia McCarron, headmistress, and Laurie Jones, principal. Shouts of joy were heard when Notre Dame's name came up on the screen after the audience heard brief remarks from the Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, which were replayed from an earlier national press conference. Balloons, a celebratory performance of the NDP "fight" song by the school band, blue ribbons and a sweet treat (Almond Joys--so all could "share in the joy"!) made for a festive afternoon. Members of the media were also on hand to report on the announcement and ceremony.
Founded in 1873 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, Notre Dame Preparatory School offers more than 170 college preparatory courses, including more than 20 Advanced Placement courses, for students in grades 6-12. Among NDP’s academic areas are STEAM (Science/Technology/Engineering/Art/ Math), The Bette and Jim O’Connor Humanities Program, and extensive visual and performing arts offerings. The school’s holistic program is complemented by an active social justice program for all grades, broad and deep co-curricular offerings, age-appropriate exploration of spirituality, and extensive athletics opportunities. In 2011, the Middle States Association of Colleges and School gave NDP a superb re-accreditation report after reviewing its academic and extra-curricular programs and operational structures. That same year, The Baltimore Sun named Notre Dame Prep among its Top 75 Workplaces in the region.
The National Blue Ribbon School award honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students achieve at high levels or where the achievement gap is narrowing. Since 1982, more than 7,000 of America's schools have received this coveted award.