Barrington High School has been selected as a 2016 National Blue Ribbon School.
Officials at the local high school learned the news on Wednesday, Sept. 28 and quickly shared the excitement with students and faculty.
"This speaks to our outstanding staff," said Barrington High School Principal Joe Hurley. "Not just teachers — my staff in the office, the custodians, everyone… they all work hard."
Mr. Hurley said the entire school community deserves praise, from the administrators and educators, to the students and their parents.
"You really have to look at it as a district-wide" accomplishment, he said.
Barrington High School was recognized in the award category of "exemplary high performing schools," which represents schools that are among the state's highest performing as measured by state assessments or "nationally normed tests."
Mr. Hurley said the recent award is the latest in a series of accolades bestowed upon the local school district.
Earlier this month, The Partnership for 21st Century Learning designated Barrington Public Schools as an exemplary district for 2016-2017; local schools received the honor for using 21st century learning practices in preparing students for success in college, career, and life.
Last spring, US News and World Report selected Barrington High School as a gold medal winner, and ranked the school number 400 among the 19,908 schools nationwide that were included in the report.
In addition, Barrington High School students — for two years straight — outperformed their peers from across the country and the rest of the world on the OECD, a key international academic assessment.
Local students' scores have been so impressive that OECD officials invited Barrington administrators to present at a national conference. OECD officials also stopped by Barrington High School this week to film footage for a video presentation.
"Talk about a busy week," said Mr. Hurley, adding that RIDE Commissioner Ken Wagner also stopped by BHS on Thursday.
"It's a good feeling. I've been here since 1999 and I've seen the changes over the years..."
Barrington Superintendent of Schools Michael Messore echoed Mr. Hurley's statement.
"Being one of three schools in Rhode Island to receive the 2016 National Blue Ribbon recognition speaks highly to the commitment, hard work and dedication of both our high school and district educators. All of our educators should be honored and recognized for providing our students with a world class education," Mr. Messore said.
Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed the coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, the US Department of Education will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers," said "U.S. Education Secretary John B. King Jr. "Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices — professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems — making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation."
Barrington school officials said there is a constant attention paid to improving and enhancing the educational experience for local students. Mr. Hurley pointed to the recent changes made to the district's homework policy, and the impending changes that will be made to start times at local schools.
"Barrington doesn't rest on its laurels," Mr. Hurley said.
The state's other Blue Ribbon winners are Peace Dale Elementary School in South Kingstown and Kent Heights Elementary School in East Providence.
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