Cranbury School quality recognized with Blue Ribbon designation

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The staff at Cranbury School.

By Mike Morsch, Executive editor
Everybody is seeing blue at Cranbury School these days.
The school is one of six New Jersey public schools that has earned the Blue Ribbon School designation for high student achievement and quality programs from the U.S. Department of Education for 2016.
And Dr. Susan Genco, chief school administrator/principal, wants to make sure everyone knows that it was a total team effort.
“I was beyond thrilled for everyone here, including most importantly for our students. Really, it’s everybody’s contributions that come together for something like this. And to be able to celebrate it with our whole community is really a blessing. We’re very excited,” said Dr. Genco.
It’s the third time in the school history — along with 1996 and 2009 — that it has earned a Blue Ribbon School designation. It currently has an enrollment of 462 in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Among the criteria that the school was judged on included curriculum and instruction, which includes a description of the programs offered to students, instruction methods and interventions and assessments for instruction; and school supports, including climate and culture, engaging families and community, professional development and school leadership.
“As a mother of a two children, ages 13 and 9 who have started their early education in Cranbury school since kindergarten, I’ve seen first hand the dedication, hard work, care and love that all our teachers, administrators, students and parents put in every day to make our school great,” said J. Sasha Weinstein, co-president of the Cranbury School PTO. “Cranbury School is a very special place that brings out the best in you — not only mentally but in your heart too.”
The school will be honored with two ceremonies. The first will be a two-day award ceremony by the U.S. Department of Education Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C. Dr. Genco will attend, as will others from the school as yet to be determined. The school will be presented with a Blue Ribbon School flag to fly on its grounds.
The second will be a Dec. 7 recognition ceremony by the New Jersey State Board of Education in Trenton.
The Blue Ribbon status represents the highest recognition bestowed by the United States Department of Education, according to Kimberly Harrington, New Jersey’s acting commissioner of education in a statement.
The other five New Jersey schools to achieve the designation include Academy for Performing Arts in the Union County Vocational School District; Essex Fells School in the Essex Fells Borough School District; Lyncrest Elementary School in the Fair Lawn Borough School District; Cedar Hill Elementary School in the Montville School District; and Central Jersey College Prep Charter School in Somerset.
According to the U.S. Department of Education website, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private 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. More than 7,500 of schools across the country have been presented with this coveted award. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities.
“I think the most important thing is that this gives us this opportunity to celebrate all the good things we do for students and as a community. We’re really a very special community and I think the opportunity to celebrate that is so important,” said Dr. Genco. 