main content starts here

Glenmont is a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School 

Filed in Archive, District, District News, Glenmont by on September 26, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education today named Glenmont Elementary School a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School. Glenmont is one of 312 public schools nationwide – and one of only 19 schools in New York state — to receive the prestigious honor which identifies schools that are models of successful teaching and learning.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools award is intended to highlight and affirm the efforts of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. 

Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Blue Ribbon Schools Program website.

“I am thrilled that Glenmont has been named a Blue Ribbon School,” said Principal Laura Heffernan. “It is a testament to the hard work of a team that will do whatever it takes to meet the needs of each and every student. Our faculty and staff love what they do and it shows.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, in one of two performance categories:  “Exemplary High Performing,” in which schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments and “Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing,” in which schools are recognized for their most progress in improving student achievement levels. Glenmont is an “Exemplary High Performing” school.

“Our students work hard to be prepared academically when they leave Glenmont, but I feel particularly proud when I see them in middle school or high school carry themselves with confidence and with strength of character,” said Heffernan. “That is something shaped and nurtured by the families, faculty and staff of a very special school community.”

The Department will honor Glenmont Elementary School along with 312 other public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 14 and 15 in Washington, D.C.  In its 37-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on approximately 9,000 of America’s schools. Glenmont is the only Capital Region school to be named a 2019 Blue Ribbon School.

“This is a well-deserved honor for the faculty, staff, students and the families of Glenmont School,” said Bethlehem Central School District Superintendent Jody Monroe. “It is especially meaningful for a school that back in 2013 found itself being challenged to close an unexpected achievement gap of its own. Building leaders, faculty and staff crafted a plan to erase that gap and carried it out successfully to ensure Glenmont’s special education students would have every opportunity to succeed.

“Now they are being celebrated for the high achievement of all students,” said Ms. Monroe. “We are incredibly proud.”

To be named a National Blue Ribbon School, the U.S. Department of Education requests nominations from the top education official in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Nominated schools are then invited to apply and must submit an extensive application for consideration. 

Glenmont School is one of five elementary schools in the Bethlehem Central School District, a district serving more than 4,500 students from the towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland in Albany County. The school currently serves 342 students in grades K through 5. Glenmont first opened its doors in 1957 when the area around it was mostly farmland. Today, the area is home to suburban neighborhoods and a bustling retail hub.

The school is one of three elementary schools in the district serving K-5 English Language Learners. More than a dozen languages are spoken by students and families at Glenmont.

This is the second time Glenmont has received the Blue Ribbon designation: the first time was in 1989-90. 

“Our school offers students a more diverse and rich cultural experience than ever before,” said Heffernan. “And though classroom learning is the goal, the Glenmont community – led by a strong PTA – values the many other activities that enrich the lives of students and bring families together. They are committed to the idea that happiness and success go hand-in-hand.”

Principal Heffernan said Glenmont’s motto to “Care about yourself; care about the people and things around you,” exemplifies the entire school community.

“Just walk through our doors, and right away you will see that Glenmont cares,” said Principal Heffernan. 

Two other schools in the Bethlehem Central School District have earned National Blue Ribbon School status: Elsmere Elementary School was named a Blue Ribbon School in 2013; and Hamagrael Elementary School earned the distinction in 2009.