Students at Rambam returned to school from chag ha Succos to learn that the mesivta was named a Blue Ribbon school by the U.S. Department of Education.
Rambam qualified as an “Exemplary High-Performing” school as a result of its consistent track record of producing scores on SAT and other standardized exams which are “the highest in the United States.” The National Blue Ribbon flag is a “widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.”
Out of a possible 133,000 public, private and parochial schools that could apply for the award, only 39 Jewish, yeshivas or community schools have qualified to date. Of the 335 schools awarded Blue Ribbon status this year, Rambam was the only school on Long Island and the only yeshiva in the country so named.
Traditionally, the Department of Education confers this coveted status to a limited number of schools each year and it “celebrates some of the most skilled and effective educators in the country.”
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program was commissioned in 1981 by then-secretary Terrell H. Bell to “ recognize those schools whose students thrived and excelled.”
“The award is an objective testimony as to the wonderful, motivated group of talmidim that comprise the mesivta and the success of our amazing, dedicated staff of rebbeim and college preparatory teachers who consistently inspire and challenge our boys. It is a kiddush Hashem to have Torah-based institutions join the ranks of this elite group,” said Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, Rambam’s Rosh Mesivta.
In speaking about the award, Principal Rabbi Yotav Eliach said, “It is a tribute to our outstanding teaching staff and student body who work together to produce such fantastic results.
“We have resisted the tide of inflating grades, and lowering standards in order to have students feel good about themselves. Our educational philosophy of maintaining grade integrity and challenging our students has borne fruit not only in terms of student achievement, as this award indicates, but also in terms of producing positive, true self-esteem, the students feel legitimately proud when they know they’ve earned the grades they received.”
“To be selected as a Blue Ribbon School is truly an honor. To be the one Long Island yeshiva high school in almost three decades to earn this award is a testament to the partnership we have with the students, parents and faculty. To be recognized as an elite academic institution, one that sends almost half of their graduating students to hesder yeshivos, it is clear the school’s namesake would be proud.”