By John Anderson
In an announcement that was kept secret from Julia Bancroft students and most faculty for nearly a month, Principal Susan Lopez informed all that the school was selected as a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. JB is one of only 3 public and 1 private schools in Massachusetts to earn this honor. Nationally, 287 public and 50 private schools received the Blue Ribbon designation.
With over 132,000 schools in the United States, the nearly 7,900 schools that have received this recognition in the program’s 32-year history really stand out. The performance categories used are Exemplary High Performing Schools and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools with the later one driving JB’s award. 2014 was the third year in a row that JB was named a LEVEL 1 school by the Commonwealth based on the MCAS results.
During her address, Principal Lopez emphasized that JB’s success was a group effort. “Everyone in this room played a role in these successes. Your Bryn Mawr teachers, your JB teachers, your families, the administration, and most importantly….You!” She also reminded them, “Model all the great characteristics and qualities we hold dear at Julia Bancroft and help others achieve their goals.”
What followed was heartwarming. As music blared, students waved crate paper blue ribbons and confetti was launched over the children. The grade 3-5 students were in their glory, and the educational professionals in the auditorium had to be as well.
Superintendent Maryellen Brunelle said Julia Bancroft has made great progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups over the last few years. She spoke, “As the proud Superintendent of the Auburn Public Schools, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the JB Team. We are all proud of the progress that you have made and has been recognized today. I, too, thank and congratulate the entire APS Team as when the light shines brightly upon one of us, it shines brightly upon all of us!”
The assembly concluded with a video by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who congratulated all the schools, student, and educators who won this year.
A great job by all those involved.