ESSEX FELLS, NJ — Essex Fells School was among the six New Jersey public schools that earned the Blue Ribbon designation for high student achievement and quality programs when the US Department of Education announced the winners on Sept. 28.

According to the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, Essex Fells School was nominated in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category. The program states that the size of the school, approximately 250 students, is an asset because it allows “a strong sense of community” and offers teacher and students many opportunities to form lasting bonds.

To achieve its primary goals, like teaching students to value events and others and establishing a sense of responsibility, the Essex Fells School community believes that the collaborative engagement of the children in the learning process is the key to intellectual development. According to the program, Essex Fells School is a place where "Studies Pass Into Character."

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National Blue Ribbon Schools are honored at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., where each receives a plaque and flag to signify its exemplary status. Details of their achievements are provided on the U.S. Department of Education's website

Kimberley Harrington, New Jersey’s Acting Commissioner of Education, provided the following statement:

“Today, we congratulate the six public schools from New Jersey selected as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016. The Blue Ribbon status represents the highest recognition bestowed by the United States Department of Education. Schools across the nation covet this honor and rightfully take great pride when they are selected.

“New Jersey schools are always well represented in this program. Year after year, the National Blue Ribbon spotlight is placed on several schools throughout New Jersey for their commitment to student academic success.”

The New Jersey public schools that also earned the 2016 National Blue Ribbon Schools designation include:

Academy for Performing Arts of the Union County Vocational School District

Lyncrest Elementary School of the Fair Lawn Borough School District

Cedar Hill Elementary School of the Montville School District

Central Jersey College Prep Charter School in Somerset

Cranbury School of the Cranbury Township School District