Students at St. Peter’s School in Waldorf celebrate during a Sept. 28 announcement that their school has been named as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
 CS PHOTO BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN
Students at St. Peter’s School in Waldorf celebrate during a Sept. 28 announcement that their school has been named as a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. CS PHOTO BY JACLYN LIPPELMANN

Three Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Washington were recognized by the U.S. Department of Education on Sept. 28 as National Blue Ribbon Schools in recognition of their academic achievement as being among America’s most successful schools. The three Maryland Catholic elementary schools in the archdiocese were among 50 private schools nationwide to be recognized. The Archdiocese of Washington’s 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools are:


Little Flower School in Bethesda

St. John's School in Hollywood, and

St. Peter's School in Waldorf.

This is the second time Little Flower School is receiving a Blue Ribbon; they received a Blue Ribbon previously in 2008. This year’s three Blue Ribbon schools from the Archdiocese of Washington were among 13 schools to receive that honor in Maryland, and among 342 schools nationwide. U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos praised the honorees in a Sept. 28 statement, saying the Blue Ribbon Schools “are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future… You are visionaries, innovators and leaders…”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools where students are performing at very high levels. The awards are given annually by the United States Department of Education.

To be chosen, schools must go through a competitive application process and demonstrate a strong commitment to educational excellence for all students. A press release from the Archdiocese of Washington noted that “the three Catholic schools in the archdiocese honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017 can attribute their success to their high academic standards and close-knit community. The schools have strong test scores and comprehensive curriculum with varied instructional methods. Community service is also an integral part of archdiocesan schools and its students are engaged in service within their local communities.”

The Department of Education will formally honor the schools with their National Blue Ribbon School awards at a conference and ceremony on Nov. 6 and 7 in Washington, D.C. 

The Archdiocese of Washington is home to 93 archdiocesan and independent Catholic schools in Washington, D.C., and Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s counties in Maryland.