Academy of Allied Health and Science earns honor

Monmouth County’s Academy of Allied Health and Science, Neptune, has been selected as a national No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon school. During a school-wide assembly, Valarie M. Smith of the U.S. Department of Education presented the school its certificate of distinction.

The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon schools award is one of the most prestigious education awards in the country, according to a press release from Monmouth County. It distinguishes and honors schools for helping students achieve at very high levels and for making significant progress in closing the achievement gap.

“As one of only two high schools in New Jersey to receive this honor, Monmouth County’s Academy of Allied Health and Science is a model of excellence and achievement,” county Freeholder Barbara J. McMorrow said. “Day in and day out, the staff work to educate and elevate our youth. These students excel because they are interested and engaged in education. I am so glad that the Board of Freeholders began the career academies as a way to provide more opportunities for students and as a way to enhance our vocational school district.”

“Blue Ribbon schools are proving that when we raise the bar our children will rise to the challenge,” Smith said.

She also told the students that Allied Health is the only school in New York and New Jersey that had received the Blue Ribbon designation more than once. Smith added, “It takes a lot of hard work by teachers and students to become a Blue Ribbon school, and it’s a privilege to celebrate their great efforts.”

Allied Health and Science was nominated based on guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Education and a recommendation from the New Jersey Department of Education.

“The students at Allied Health and Science are very focused and committed to a rigorous course of study,” said Brian D. McAndrew, superintendent of the Monmouth County Vocational School District. “Allied Health and Science’s community of inspired students, teachers and administrators join the county’s other career academies in providing students that are engaged and ready to take on the next step of leadership.”

The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon schools program honors public and private schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels. The schools are selected based on one of two criteria:

• Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds that dramatically improve student performance to high levels on state tests; and

• Schools whose students, regardless of background, achieve in the top 10 percent of their state on state tests or, in the case of private schools, in the top 10 percent of the nation on nationally-normed tests.

According to the press release, the Monmouth County Vocational School District prepares students for an evolving workplace and further education through specialized academic, career and technical programs and lifelong learning opportunities. The district’s career academies prepare students for higher education through a program of study and for the evolving workplace through relevant, structured learning experiences and collaborative partnerships.

Other career academies are Biotechnology High School, Freehold Township; Communications High School, Wall Township; High Technology High School, Lincroft; and the Marine Academy of Science and Technology, Sandy Hook.