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Lenox and Plaza Recognized as National PTA Schools of Excellence

Second Time in a Row to Receive Distinction 

Baldwin Union Free School District is pleased to announce that Lenox and Plaza Elementary Schools have been recognized as a 2020-2022 National PTA School of Excellence. The “National PTA School of Excellence” is a recognition program that supports and celebrates partnerships between PTAs and schools to enrich the educational experience and overall well-being for all students. As a National PTA School of Excellence, both schools made significant progress to welcome and empower families to support student success and school improvements during the 2019-2020 school year. This is the second time in a row for both schools to achieve this distinction. Lenox and Plaza are two of just nine PTAs across Long Island to receive this designation. 

“Congratulations to Lenox and Plaza Elementary Schools and their PTAs on being recognized once again as a National PTA School of Excellence,” said Dr. Shari L. Camhi, Superintendent of Schools, Baldwin Union Free School District. “More than ever, it is essential that we have a solid partnership between our schools, families and community where we can collaborate and communicate effectively for the benefit of our children’s future. We are very proud of the hard work and dedication that resulted in this distinction.” 

In order to be recognized, the PTA and school administrators make a year-long commitment in identifying and implementing an action plan for school improvement based on PTA's National Standards for Family-School Partnerships. PTAs and schools collect feedback from their school communities to create and implement plans of action to make a difference for every child. Through the School of Excellence program, PTAs and families become key partners in decision-making and school improvement efforts. The program opens the lines of communication and critical thinking within school communities to make data-drive decisions that yield positive, long-term results. Those that exhibit improvement are honored as National PTA Schools of Excellence, a distinction that spans two years. 

“Congratulations to the Lenox School PTA on becoming a National PTA School of Excellence. This recognition represents the hard work, dedication, and commitment of the dynamic Lenox parents,” said Ms. Valerie Paul, principal of Lenox Elementary School. “The strong partnerships between our families, school, and the community make a Lenox such a magical place. I would like to thank every single person who made this possible. Bravo on a job well done!” 

Principal of Plaza Elementary School, Mark Gray, also praised the PTA and community. “We are very proud of our Plaza PTA for helping us receiving this distinction. Our families are the heart of this community. Congratulations to all involved!” 

“Lenox PTA is proud to announce that Lenox has once again been designated a National PTA School of Excellence,” said PTA Co-President for Lenox, Maggie Hart and Ronda Patton-Mesidor. “Notwithstanding the pandemic, Lenox PTA was able to achieve this recognition by assisting with open communication between Lenox and parents, ensuring that Lenox continues to be open and welcoming and by ensuring that Lenox students continue to receive enrichment through the Arts in Education program.”  

Plaza Elementary School’s PTA President, Kelly Hill, added, “We are extremely proud to be recognized as a 2020-2022 National PTA School of Excellence and what this award represents. We have worked really hard each year to maintain the ‘School of Excellence’ designation by continuing to develop strong family-school partnerships, and we only see stronger community and family engagement in our future.”   

The National PTA comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.  

“It has been especially critical to have open lines of communication, strong family-school partnerships and families as key partners in the decision-making process during the COVID-19 pandemic. We must continue to keep these practices going in the new school year to address learning gaps experienced during the pandemic and support students’ social and emotional needs,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “National PTA’s School of Excellence program can help strengthen or rebuild family-school partnerships while we continue to recover from the effects of COVID-19 and ensure students, families and schools have what they need to thrive.”