WINTHROP — Winthrop Grade School is one of Maine’s two nominees for a federal Blue Ribbon School award, which recognizes schools where students perform at very high levels.

The Maine Department of Education nominated Winthrop Grade School and Turner Elementary School based on students’ standardized test scores over three years and their grades on the A-to-F report cards for schools that the department debuted last spring.

In a news release, Winthrop superintendent Gary Rosenthal praised the leadership of Winthrop Grade School Principal Jeff Ladd, who has been nominated for principal of the year, and the work of all the teachers and staff.

“We are one of the few school districts in the state to be increasing in student population, and I would like to recognize the work of our dedicated staff and the recognition brought to the schools and students based on their efforts,” Rosenthal said.

The Maine Department of Education applies a series of filters to determine Blue Ribbon Schools nominees, starting with the requirement that the school place in the top 15 percent of schools in the state for standardized test scores in the previous three years, while also improving or maintaining performance during that period.

Schools also must meet attendance or graduation targets, have an “A” or “B” on their state report cards and not fall in the bottom 25 percent of school with large achievement gaps between groups of students.

Winthrop received an “A” on its report card, while Turner received a “B.”

The U.S. Department of Education will name the winning schools in September. Maine nominated three elementary schools last year, and Topsham’s Williams-Cone Elementary School was a winner.

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