ASD Receives National Blue Ribbon Award

National Blue Ribbon Award
Jenn Cava and Amy Bewley

ASD Receives National Blue Ribbon Award as an Exemplary High Performing School

Academy for Science and Design (ASD) Director Jennifer Cava and school administrator Amy Bewley traveled to Washington, D.C. from November 5 – 9, 2017, joining more than 300 public and private schools from across the United States to be recognized as 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools. ASD Director Jennifer Cava shares, “It is an honor to represent not only the dedicated efforts of our school to provide students with a high-quality public education, but the efforts of all New Hampshire public schools who are committed to continuous improvement, success for all students, and increased family and community engagement.”  

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who announced the 2017 blue ribbon award winners in September, was on hand to welcome school representatives to Washington. "Thank you for your extraordinary commitment to meeting the unique needs of students every day," said Devos in addressing the gathering at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

"It is hard to express the enormous pride and happiness that I felt for current and former ASD students, staff and families as I attended the National Blue Ribbon ceremony in our nation's capital," explained Bewley. "It is with great honor that we accepted the special plaque on behalf of all of the remarkable people that have made ASD such a special place for students to learn and grow” Bewley continued.

Cava and Bewley also had the opportunity to meet with Senator Hassan and Senator Shaheen, discussing STEM-focused education, charter schools, how to encourage the young people from New Hampshire to return to the granite state after college and more.

National Blue Ribbon Schools are on education’s cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices from professional learning communities and project-based learning to social and emotional learning and positive behavior systems. Schools are nominated by the state department of education and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may be nominated as Exemplary High Performing—among the top schools in a state—or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing—schools making the fastest progress in their state in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The Academy for Science and Design was nominated as an Exemplary High Performing school, the only New Hampshire high school to ever receive this prestigious award.

The Academy for Science and Design has worked hard to meet the challenge of economic and societal change following the decline of the state's textile industry and expansion of Boston's high-tech corridor into the southern New Hampshire region.  Established as a charter school and STEM specialty school in 2007, ASD is located on the outskirts of Nashua, New Hampshire's second largest and increasingly diverse city, reflecting an expanding immigrant population and its integration into the community.  Through its innovative design for learning ASD offers an environment that nourishes the minds of our students and encourages them to use their valuable abilities to lead advancements in science and technology, as well as to become thoughtful, compassionate, and engaged citizens for improving our democracy.  

Serving as both a public, open-enrollment middle/high school with a STEM-specialty focus, the success of the Academy for Science and Design is based on its commitment to engage a diversity of student learners at both of these levels through an exemplary structure for broadening student access to STEM-focused learning opportunities.  Accordingly, ASD’s program design is focused on providing early exposure to opportunities in STEM that younger students may be unaware of, and then encouraging and supporting those students as they pursue a highly personalized pathway to a specialized STEM field in high school.

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