Woodbridge School Achieves National Recognition

certificate-2WOODBRIDGE—Kennedy Park School #24 in the Iselin section of Woodbridge Township has been named a 2008 “No Child Left Behind ~ Blue Ribbon School,” a national award that recognizes schools, teachers and students that have achieved academic superiority and success.

The prestigious award by the U.S. Department of Education honors schools for helping students achieve at high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap. The Kennedy Park School is the only school in Middlesex County to achieve the national award and one of only nine schools in New Jersey to be so honored in 2008.

“The Kennedy Park School motto is, ‘Step into the Future with Pride.’ Certainly, the 2008 NCLB Blue Ribbon award affirms the farsighted vision and actions of the teachers and students involved in creating that bright future. Their pride is well-earned,” said Superintendent Dr. John Crowe.

The U.S. Department of Education’s “No Child Left Behind-Blue Ribbon Schools” Program honors public and private elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria:

• Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests; or

• Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests.

According to Principal Dr. Susan Mansfield, Kennedy Park School #24 is a K-5 school serving more than 340 students in one of the largest urban/suburban districts in the state. Kennedy Park is a diverse elementary school, with 75 percent of the students speaking a language other than English. The mobility rate is high, with more than 25 percent of the school population eligible for free or reduced lunch. Despite these challenges, the school creates a sense of community and pride, establishes high expectations for learning and addresses students’ unique learning needs. The faculty and staff of Kennedy Park share the philosophy that all students can and will learn.

Dr. Patrick Piegari, Middlesex County executive school superintendent, said, “I am extremely proud of Kennedy Park School’s accomplishment. This award represents the hard work and dedication of the principal, faculty, students, and families.” He offered congratulations and best wishes to the entire school community as the school is recognized by the Department of Education in Washington, D.C.

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