YONKERS, N.Y. – A Yonkers public school is getting national acclaim after besting many of its peers in Westchester County and across the state.
After being recognized as “Exemplary High Performing,” the PEARLS Hawthorne School was named a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School last week by the U.S. Department of Education.
In Friday’s announcement, federal education officials said PEARLS was among New York state’s highest performing schools, scoring well above average on state assessments or nationally-normed tests.
“This is yet another national award for the Yonkers Public Schools,” Superintendent of Schools Bernard Pierorazio said in a statement. “The achievement is a testament to the commitment of the dedicated staff, highly motivated students, involved parents and the school’s principal, Marjorie Brown-Anfelouss.”
The prestigous National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognized 269 public and private elementary, middle and high schools in 2012 where students performed at high levels or where significant improvements were made in levels of academic achievement, the Department of Education says.
PEARLS Hawthorne was one 20 schools in New York state to be recognized and the only in Westchester County.
“As the parent of two PEARLS students, I can attest to the high-quality education that its students receive,” said Yonkers Board of Education President Paresh Patel. “This honor is well deserved.”
Earlier this year, students at PEARLS Hawthrone displayed their smarts, easily topping state averages in both the reading and math exams.
More than 87 percent of the school’s third- through eighth-grade students met or exceeded the English language arts proficiency standard, surpassing the state norm of 55.1 percent. In math, 88.4 percent of students met or exceeded the standard, again coming in above the state average which sat at 64.8 percent.
Administrators say PEARLS curriculum emphasizes creativity, higher order thinking skills and experiential learning. Research-based teaching and learning strategies are also used to meet student’s educational and social needs, they said.
“It truly ‘takes a village’ to raise a child,” said Brown-Anfelouss. “The commitment of our entire school community, unsurpassed by the efforts of our amazing students, brought this national recognition to PEARLS.”