Mars Area School District is excited to announce that Mars Area High School has been selected as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
On Sept. 26, Betsy DeVos, U.S. Secretary of Education, named Mars Area High School among 312 public and 50 private schools being recognized as 2019 National Blue Ribbon Schools. The honor is confirmation of the hard work of students, educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools, where students master challenging and engaging content.
“We recognize and honor your important work in preparing students for successful careers and meaningful lives,” said DeVos in a video message to all 2019 honorees. “Your school demonstrates what is possible when committed educators hold all students and staff to high standards and create vibrant, innovative cultures of teaching and learning.”
The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes schools is two categories: (1) Exemplary High Performing Schools or those schools that are among a state’s highest-performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests; and, (2) Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools or schools that have made significant progress in closing achievement gaps between subgroups and all students over the past five years. Mars Area High School is being recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School.
“Being recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the hard work of all the members of our school community. Mars Area High School could not have accomplished this without the foundation established by our dedicated teachers and staff members, our determined administrators, and the endless support of parents and community members combined with the hard work of our students,” said Mrs. Lindsay Rosswog, Mars Area High School principal.
“This award recognizes, on a national level, the demonstration of consistent excellence that we have always valued at Mars. Our high academic expectations, positive learning environments, and community support have enabled us to develop students who are ready to succeed beyond our campus as lifelong learners and contributors.”
In 2018, Mars Area High School had a 98.8 percent graduation rate with 82.2 percent of graduates enrolled in post-secondary institutions, 6.1 percent enlisted in the military and 9.3 percent entering Pennsylvania’s workforce. The school’s Class of 2018 achieved higher average scores in all subject areas of the SAT and ACT than those reported at both the state and national levels.
The school offers numerous rigorous courses, including 14 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, nine College within the High School (CHS) courses and 14 advanced course options. Beginning with the 2017-2018 School Year, Mars Area High School has partnered with the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) to expand AP course offerings and to provide incentives for involvement in AP instruction and assessments. In 2018, 198 students were enrolled in AP courses and, of the 357 AP exams taken, 73 percent of students earned a qualifying score.
“It is a great honor to have our High School recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School. This award confirms that our teachers, administrators, staff, students and families are all great examples of excellence who work each day to be the best they can be. We foster an atmosphere of continuous improvement for all,” said Dr. Wesley Shipley, superintendent.
“I am extremely proud of our community of learners and I am grateful to our faculty, staff, students and families who have contributed to our success. Our hashtags, #WeHaveGreatThingsToDo and #WeBuildTheirFuture, embody our daily commitment to academic excellence.”
Now in its 37th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has awarded more than 9,000 schools. The U.S. Department of Education will honor all 2019 recipients at an awards ceremony, to be held Nov. 14-15 in Washington, D.C.
For more information, visit https://nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov/awardwinners/winning/19pa119pu_mars_area_high_school.html.