- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 30, 2015

BALTIMORE (AP) - The U.S. Department of Education has named eight Maryland schools 2015 National Blue Ribbon Schools.

Six public and two parochial schools were recognized Tuesday for high achievement and significant improvement.

The six public schools honored were Lake Shore Elementary School, Severna Park Elementary, Pine Grove Elementary, Fountain Green Elementary, Kemptown Elementary and Smithsburg High School. The two parochial schools named are Cardinal Hickey Academy and Our Lady of Lourdes School.

The U.S. Department of Education named 285 public and 50 private schools National Blue Ribbon Schools this year. They will be recognized at a ceremony in November.

In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said all of the schools were selected based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

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