St. Augustine School, which serves students kindergarten through eighth grade, earned national honors this month.
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the Elkridge school was one of 10 in Maryland and 269 nationwide to be designated as a National Blue Ribbon School.
St. Augustine School was the only institution in Howard County to win the federal award. Schools qualify for the designation by either closing achievement gaps or performing at an extremely high level, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Education.
St. Augustine officials said in a press release that the school achieved the designation because of its high performance on standardized tests. Federal education officials could not be reached for comment.
Most students graduating from St. Augustine School place into advanced high school courses and receive scholarships to Catholic high schools, according to the school press release.
“Although we have known for some time that we have a school where children are nurtured in body, mind and soul, truly a school of excellence, this highly competitive award confirms that knowledge," said St. Augustine School Principal Patricia Schratz, in a statement.
"We have served the families of Elkridge for 155 years, and this is indeed a proud moment for us all," Schratz said.
Founded in 1855, the parochial school on Old Washington Road is the oldest in Howard County.
St. Augustine will host a ceremony to recognize its Blue Ribbon award at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13.