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Three local schools receive National Blue Ribbon designation

Three area schools were among four Connecticut public schools named Thursday as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools, according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Education. East Lyme High School, Oakdale School in Montville and Thomas W. Mahan School in Norwich, along with Morris Street School in Danbury, received the honor.

The schools "demonstrated outstanding overall achievement and were identified as Schools of Distinction as measured by Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System," according to a news release. East Lyme High School and Oakdale School were honored in the Exemplary High Performing Category and Thomas W. Mahan and Morris Street were honored in the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing category.

The announcement said East Lyme High School performed among the top 10 percent of all high schools statewide on the accountability index and "demonstrates consistently high performance across content areas and provides broad access to courses designed to prepare students for college and careers."

It further said that Oakdale School in Montville demonstrated top performance in multiple categories based on accountability reports and has an overall Accountability Index of 91.7 that places the school among the top 10 percent of all elementary and middle schools statewide.

For the Thomas W. Mahan School, the announcement noted the district's veteran educators, academic enrichment blocks and tiered instructional approach. The school "demonstrated strong growth overall and was placed among the top 10 percent of all schools for the growth of their High Needs students in ELA and mathematics."

"Every student deserves the kind of education that allows them to thrive and meet their full potential," Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said in a statement. "With exemplary schools like East Lyme High School, Oakdale School, Thomas W. Mahan School, and Morris Street School inspiring a love of learning in our students, it's no wonder that we have record high graduation rates and students who are among the best readers in the nation. We congratulate these four schools and their educators, students, and families for their collective efforts to nurture school communities where all students are making great strides toward success in college, careers, and life."

U.S. Rep Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, said eastern Connecticut should be proud of the recognition its schools received.

"Blue Ribbon designation does not come easy — it requires the hard work and dedication of a school's leadership and, most importantly, the passion of its teachers," Courtney said. "The families of East Lyme, Norwich and Montville are fortunate to have these schools in their communities."

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