Release Date: 12/11/2013
Contact: Diana L. Spencer, 410-887-4243

Western School of Technology named Maryland Blue Ribbon School

Catonsville campus becomes the fourth BCPS high school to

TOWSON, MD. – The Maryland State Department of Education announced today that Western School of Technology and Environmental Science is among six schools across the state to be named a 2014 Maryland Blue Ribbon School.

“For the past several years, the achievements at Western School of Technology have been striking," said Dr. S. Dallas Dance, superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools. “Because of the focus of the staff, students and school community, Western has instilled excellence into every aspect of its operations. The school has become a regular on national lists of best high schools, and this latest honor is yet another example of the great work going on at Western every day."

Western joins Dulaney, Eastern Tech and Towson high schools as those that have earned Blue Ribbon status in recent years. In total, 20 BCPS schools have earned Maryland Blue Ribbons and 16 of those also have earned national Blue Ribbons.

“Earning Maryland Blue Ribbon status reinforces the many positive things that are taking place at our school," said Western Principal Murray Parker. “I am extremely proud of this accomplishment because it rests on the collaborative efforts of our students, parents, faculty and staff. Congratulations to all Western Tech community members."

The strength of the school’s academic program is demonstrated by its performance on Advanced Placement exams, which in the past two years have seen participation rise from 370 exams taken to 548, with an overall passing rate increase from 55 percent to 68.4 percent. This year, math overall proficiency on the state’s High School Assessment was 100 percent, while reading proficiency was 98.6 percent. In addition, the school’s participation in AP Environmental Science test-taking rose from 32 to 61 exams; the percentage of students earning a three or above on the test increased from 56 percent to 70.5 percent.

As a magnet school, Western Tech provides students with challenging academic courses and cutting-edge technological career programs, as well as a variety of experiential environmental science programs. As a result, the school has been recognized as a top performing high school in the region and nation by the Baltimore Business Journal, Washington Post, US News & World Report and Newsweek.

Blue Ribbon School designation is a state and national program that recognizes schools that meet rigorous standards developed by the Maryland State Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education. Now that it has been named a Maryland Blue Ribbon School, Western is a candidate for national Blue Ribbon designation. National awardees will be announced by the U.S. Department of Education in September 2014.

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