A New Hartford Central School District school has once again been designated as a National Blue Ribbon School, an honor reserved for public and private K-12 schools that have achieved high levels of academic success or have made significant improvement in closing achievement gaps.
On Sept. 16, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona designated 297 schools, including New Hartford Senior High School, as 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools. New Hartford is one of twenty New York schools, and the only Oneida County school, to receive the prestigious designation.
“New Hartford Senior High School is honored to be named a National Blue Ribbon School for the second time, first in 2016 and now again in 2022,” Principal Mark Benson said. “This is a truly amazing school system and community. The credit goes to our students, teachers, staff and community for their hard work and dedication to lifelong learning. This prestigious honor would not have been possible without them.”
The state Education Department nominated New Hartford Senior High School as an Exemplary High Performing School. Schools in this category are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. School staff then went to work on the program’s comprehensive application, which detailed the school’s demographics, academic efforts, instructional methods and philosophies.
Once submitted, applications are evaluated by a panel of judges during a two-phase review process. In the meantime, to remain eligible for 2022 National Blue Ribbon consideration, nominated schools must continue to meet program criteria in the current school year.
The Senior High School has about 660 students enrolled in its grades through 10-12 and employs about 85 staff members.
“We’re proud of the entire Senior High School community as this recognition affirms the exceptional work of our students and staff, which is made possible by the supportive family partnerships across our school district,” New Hartford Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra said. “To receive this honor twice shows that our students and staff are not complacent and continue to work hard and achieve high levels of success.”
This is the third time one of the district’s schools has received this designation. Ralph Perry Junior High was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2008.
The U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon School designation is an honor that never expires, and National Blue Ribbon Schools are held up as models for other schools. The U.S. Department of Education features the winners on its website, leaders of winning schools give presentations at state and regional meetings about their school’s practices and teachers from other school districts often visit National Blue Ribbon Schools to learn about effective leadership and instructional strategies, according to the National Blue Ribbon program website.
“As our country continues to recover from the pandemic, we know that our future will only be as strong as the education we provide to all of our children,” Cardona said. “Blue Ribbon Schools have gone above and beyond to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. These schools show what is possible to make an enduring, positive difference in students’ lives.”