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On Monday, October 1st the United States Department of Education (USDOE) announced that 349 schools across the country would receive its prestigious Blue Ribbon School designation.  Those awards were presented during ceremonies held in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 – Thursday, November 8, 2018. Only 49 of those chosen for the honor were non-public schools. Eight of the 49 were parish or regional elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, including:  Saint Katharine Drexel Regional Catholic School in Holland (Bucks County), Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic School in Doylestown (Bucks County), Saint Jude Catholic School in Chalfont (Bucks County), and Mater Dei Regional Catholic School in Lansdale (Montgomery County).
On Sunday, November 11, Saint Katharine Drexel Catholic School will celebrate being recognized by the USDOE as a Blue Ribbon School. This is SKD’s first year eligible for the award since it’s opening in the 2012-2013 academic year. The students will gather on the school’s campus at Saint Bede the Venerable Church for a Mass of Thanksgiving at 12:30 p.m. to celebrate the designation. Following Mass, students will process out to the front of the school to reveal and bless the new signage bearing the Blue Ribbon seal. There will be a Blue Ribbon Reception and Open house immediately after the celebration. Members from the Aqua String Band will be present in their Mummers costumes to help the school community celebrate and there will be a performance by the school’s cheerleaders, band, and award-winning choir. 
Sunday, November 11, 2018
Saint Bede the Venerable Church and Saint Katharine Drexel Catholic School
12:30 p.m. (Mass)
1:30 p.m. (Blessing of Sign and Reception) 
1053 Holland Road
Holland, PA 18966
(Bucks County)
Our Lady of Mount Carmel School (OLMC), a two-time National Blue Ribbon school (they also received the designation in 2006), will hold a Mass of Thanksgiving for its entire school family on Thursday, November 15th.  The main celebrant will be Monsignor Charles Hagan, Pastor of OLMC along with Monsignor Joseph Gentili, Priest in Residence at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Buckingham. The Mass will begin with a blue flower procession into church including the entire faculty and staff as well as a student representative from each class.  The mass was planned largely by Sister Thomasann Quinn, a Sister of Saint Francis. She has been at OLMC for over 30 years and is a cornerstone of the school.
Many parish organizations were invited to attend and participate in the Mass of Thanksgiving to thank them for all they do for the school and students. These groups include Knights of Columbus, Ladies of Mount Carmel, State Street Players, OLMC CYO Coaches, Alumni, current families, and friends of the school.  A reception will immediately follow Mass for all those in attendance.  During the reception OLMC’s new marketing video will be unveiled.  Additionally, on Friday, November 16th OLMC students, faculty, and staff have planned a Blue Pep Rally at 2:00 pm in the school gymnasium showing many different ways to celebrate a Blue Ribbon Award.
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Our Lady of Mount Carmel
9:00 a.m. (Mass)
235 East State Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
(Bucks County)
Saint Jude School will hold a celebration of its Blue Ribbon designation by wearing their special Blue Ribbon t-shirts to school. The Blue Ribbon Award Saint Jude School received will also be prominently displayed in the church sanctuary as all students, faculty, staff, alumni, community, and special guests enter for a Mass of Thanksgiving.   Students in Saint Jude’s fifth grade class will lead the school community during the Mass by taking the roles of readers, gift bearers, and cantors.  As a way to celebrate the school’s achievement, and also as a way to give back to its community during the Mass, students will present food items collected by grades Pre-k through eighth for the school’s Thanksgiving Baskets.   Immediately following Mass, as they return to school, each student will be treated to a Blue Ribbon cookie.  Each homeroom will have a “Blue Ribbon Door of Pride” on display.  Guests in attendance at the Mass will be invited a special reception and to tour the school for a Blue Ribbon open house.  After lunch, students will join with their grade buddies (older students and younger students paired together) and work together on a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) project making “Blue Ribbon Rockets,” which will include testing them outside, weather permitting, as well as making a “Blue Ribbon Buddy” craft with and for one another.  
Friday, November 16, 2018
Saint Jude Church
9:00 a.m. (Mass)
321 West Butler Avenue
1:00 p.m. (Grade Buddy Activities)
Saint Jude School
323 West Butler Avenue
Chalfont, PA 18914
(Bucks County)
Mater Dei Catholic School will participate in the Lansdale Mardi Gras Parade, which takes place on Main Street, Lansdale on Saturday, November 17th beginning at 12:30 p.m., by sponsoring a float. Parish priests, administration, faculty, staff, students, and parents will proudly follow the float and walk in the parade to celebrate its 2018 National Blue Ribbon designation. After the parade, all Mater Dei community members and supporters are invited to join in a celebration in the school parking lot for a “Family Tailgate” with horse rides, games, and food. The celebration will culminate with Mass of Thanksgiving at 5:15 p.m.
Mater Dei Catholic School
2:00 p.m. (Family Tailgate Celebration)
493 East Main Street
Saint Stanislaus Church
5:15 p.m. (Mass of Thanksgiving)
51 Lansdale Avenue
Lansdale, PA 19446
(Montgomery County)
Founded in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students' academic achievement.  Since the program's founding, the U.S. Department of Education has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,500 of America's schools.