College Gardens Elementary School in Rockville and Oakridge Elementary in Arlington have been named as finalists in the nationwide Elementary School Recognition Program of the U.S. Department of Education. They were inadvertently omitted from an article Saturday on the competition.
Eight schools in the Washington area have been named finalists in the first nationwide Elementary School Recognition Program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
The eight are among 378 finalists in the program, which includes public and private schools. The winners are to be announced in June after two-day visits to each school under consideration.
The two public schools that are finalists in the District are in Northeast: Bunker Hill, at 14th Street and Michigan Avenue, and Smothers, at 44th and Brooks streets. In the Maryland suburbs, three private schools were selected: Sidwell Friends Lower School in Bethesda, St. Elizabeth School in Rockville and St. Matthias Apostle School in Lanham.
The one public school chosen in Northern Virginia was Falls Church Elementary.
Patricia McKee, the program director, said competitions are conducted separately among public and private schools, though they use similar criteria.
"We are selecting examples of excellence, not picking the best," McKee said. "The program is trying to find schools which can be models for other schools in similar circumstances with children of similar needs . . . . We don't just want schools with high test scores in high-income communities. A school must do much better than expected given its resources and population."
A similiar recognition program for junior and senior high schools was started in 1983.
But Education Secretary William J. Bennett decided to hold the contest this year for elementary schools and to alternate in the future between elementary and secondary grades.