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Lake Forest Selected As A National Blue Ribbon School.

Eagle 2013 CMYK

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan just announced on September 24th that Lake Forest Elementary Charter School, one of the highest academic performing charter schools in Louisiana, is one of only 286 public schools chosen in the country as the 2013 cohort of National Blue Ribbon Schools.

The selection is based on the school’s overall academic excellence and/or their progress in improving student academic achievement, according to Secretary Duncan, who made this year’s announcement live this morning via the Department’s USTREAM channel, viewed by recognized principals, teachers, and students assembled across the country.

The program recognizes schools in one of two performance categories. The first category is “Exemplary High Performing,” in which schools are recognized among their state’s highest performing schools, as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests. The second category is “Exemplary Improving,” in which schools that have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds demonstrate the most progress in improving student achievement levels as measured by state assessments or nationally-normed tests.

Lake Forest won in the Exemplary High Performing category.

Lake Forest school leaders, including Chief Executive Officer Mardele Simmons Early, will be honored with 235 other public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C. In its 31-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on nearly 7,500 of America’s schools.

“Excellence in education matters and we should honor the schools that are leading the way to prepare students for success in college and careers,” said Secretary Duncan. “National Blue Ribbon schools represent examples of educational excellence, and their work reflects the belief that every child in America deserves a world-class education.”

CEO Mardele S. Early and a handful of dedicated teachers and parents literally rebuilt the east New Orleans campus from the ground up after Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 levee failures.

Lake Forest Charter School is one of only two schools in Louisiana designated a National Title I Distinguished School for Exceptional Student Performance. One-hundred percent of its 4th and 8th graders consistently pass the LEAP test.

CEO Early said her school offers a nurturing learning environment to students, and facilitates maximum student achievement through a rigorous, accelerated academic program incorporating visual, cultural and creative arts. “At Lake Forest we are educating students who will become global, contributing leaders,” said CEO Early. “We are proud of this accomplishment and our phenomenal instructional teaching and administrative/operational staff, as well as our supportive parents and amazing students.”

More than 83 percent of Lake Forest’s students qualify for free or reduced lunch services.

Lake Forest is graded an “A” school by the Louisiana Department of Education. The school had the sixth highest Student Performance Score (SPS) in the state, for elementary schools, in the 2011-2012 school year.