Hampstead Elementary School has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2020. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed almost 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools, with some schools winning multiple awards. Schools are eligible for nomination after five years.
The U.S. Education Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, student subgroup scores and graduation rates:
- Exemplary High Performing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
- Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools – These are among their state’s highest performing in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
Hampstead was honored as an Exemplary High Performing School. The school places in at least the top 15 percent of all schools in Maryland based on state assessment scores in math and English language arts (ELA).
Hampstead Elementary School houses grades K-5, with 400 students and 103 staff members. The school includes three regional programs for special education – the Preschool Regional Early Childhood Program (PREP), Autism, and Learning for Independence (LFI). The school improvement plan is focused on the development of teachers and instructional support staff by providing professional development structured around improving writing in all content areas and ensuring that all students meet grade-level expectations by third grade.
For the past six years, Hampstead has shown continuous progress in its academic performance on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment. As a result, it remains as one of the top performing schools in Carroll County. This progress is a direct reflection of the school’s teachers, students, and parents' dedication to learning and providing a culture that is accepting of all students. The school focuses on providing first pass instruction that is meaningful, engaging and using assessments.
Special education teachers and classroom teachers collaborate, co-teach, differentiate instruction, and use data to inform instruction and interventions. Hampstead believes that all students can learn. With the school closures due to COVID-19, teachers are becoming fluent with synchronous instruction using Google Classrooms. Teachers are developing engaging lessons through this platform that include interactive slides, videos, interactive websites, and meeting with small groups for differentiation. Our school is unique because of specialized programming that offers an environment where all students are welcomed and valued.
“We are extremely proud of Hampstead Elementary School,” said Superintendent Steven Lockard. “Being named a National Blue Ribbon School affirms the combined work of the students, staff, families, and the community in creating an outstanding, welcoming school where students are learning and thriving.“
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The U.S. Education Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education (CAPE).
The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. While we regret not having the opportunity to celebrate in person, given the current situation regarding COVID-19, we will celebrate the 317 public and 50 non-public school honorees in the ways that we are able, and they will each receive their plaques and flags via mail.