The Blue Ribbon Award is the highest honor bestowed on a school by the United States Department of Education.
IHM is the proud recipient of the 2007 U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Award for Academic Excellence. IHM School is one of 287 schools nation-wide, and the only private school in New Jersey to receive the 2007 national Blue Ribbon Award.
U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings announced the winning schools on October 2, 2007. "These schools are proving that when we raise the bar our children will rise to the challenge," Spellings said. "It takes a lot of hard work by teachers and students to become a Blue Ribbon school, and it's a privilege to celebrate their great efforts."
The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Schools Program is a national recognition program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education that honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools that are models of academic excellence and achievement. The program encourages states to nominate elementary or secondary schools that are either academically superior or demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement.
"We are proud that our school is one of the best elementary schools in the nation. Our students scored in the top 10 percent of all schools in the nation in both reading and mathematics standardized testing. This is a very prestigious award, and we are honored to share it with our students, parents, teachers, and all community members," said Mary Ann Oesterle, IHM School Principal.
To be named a Blue Ribbon School is to join an elite group. Only 5,510 schools have won the award over its quarter-century history. This year, of more than 133,000 U.S. schools, only 289 schools were honored. IHM is the only private school in New Jersey to receive this honor.
What these schools share is a handful of qualities that are simple to state and difficult to realize. Fundamentally, they are well-led. Their leaders not only articulate a vision of excellence, they stay close to the real action of teaching and learning. Teachers, students, and administrators are all held to high standards. Data are in constant use to adapt teaching and learning to support every student. Finally, these schools feel positive. Mutual respect and trust run deep in their cultures.
IHM is an award-winning private, Catholic school, educating children in Grades PreK-3 through Grade 8. It was awarded the diocesan 2004 Star School Award (for its student Writing Program that is implemented in every grade from K to 8), the 2004 Home & School Federation Best Practice Award (for its cultural programs), and the 2002 NCEA Principal of the Year Award.