OMC students the Bischoff brothers, Ben, Jake and Zach, show off their blue ribbons.

OMC students the Bischoff brothers, Ben, Jake and Zach, show off their blue ribbons.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that Our Mother of Consolation Parish School (OMC) has been selected by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence for 2015 based on the school’s overall academic excellence.

The school will be honored at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 9. Three hundred thirty five schools across the country (285 public schools and 50 private schools) were recognized this year.

“This honor recognizes your students’ accomplishments and the hard work and dedication that went into their success,” Duncan said in a video message to all of the awardees. “Your journey has taught you collaboration, intentional instruction, and strong relationships in school and with your community. You represent excellence – in vision, in implementation, and in results –and we want to learn as much as we can from you.”

OMC is the first Archdiocesan elementary school in the city of Philadelphia to ever be awarded the Blue Ribbon School distinction. The school exceeded the program’s eligibility requirements by continuing to score in the top 15 percent of the U.S. on national Terra Nova standardized tests, offering exceptional programs and activities for students, and possessing a strong community of distinguished faculty and involved families.

“Receiving the 2015 National Blue Ribbon award validates the hard work of our entire community – faculty, staff, students, and parents,” said OMC principal Bruce Hagy. “We have always reached for academic excellence, and this recognition only serves to publicize what we already know – OMC Parish School is an exceptional place for students to learn and thrive.”

OMC’s pastor, Father Robert Bazzoli, praised Hagy and said he was proud of the school’s accomplishment.

“Being the first Archdiocesan elementary school in the city of Philadelphia to receive Blue Ribbon distinction is truly an honor and it supports our long history of educating the whole child – academically, spiritually, and socially,” he said. “This recognition is directly attributed to the strong dedication of our school community and the outstanding leadership of our principal Bruce Hagy.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Every year the U.S. Department of Education seeks out and celebrates great American schools, schools demonstrating that all students can achieve to high levels. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

For more information on today’s announcement, please see the official press release at www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/us-education-secretary-arne-duncan-announces-2015-national-blue-ribbon-schools.

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