A spontaneous schoolwide dance party erupted at Meadows Elementary School early Monday morning as its distinguished students and staff gathered to celebrate an award from the California Department of Education.
Of the 5,867 elementary schools in California, 287 were named distinguished schools. Meadows joins fellow Newhall School District sites Pico Canyon and Stevenson Ranch as well as Valley View Elementary School, which is in the Sulphur Springs Union School District, as the only SCV sites to receive the merit, and it could hardly contain it’s enthusiasm, Principal Kim Sorensen said.
“It’s very exciting that the kids are being rewarded for their hard work,” she said, “and staff certainly deserves the honor.”
The California Distinguished Schools program annually recognizes elementary schools that have made exceptional gains in implementing academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Schools are determined eligible for the honor based on their performance and progress on state indicators, like test scores, suspension rates and English learner progress, on the California School Dashboard, the state’s accountability system.
Meadows was honored for its exceptional student performance, Sorenson said during a schoolwide assembly, while she reflected on seven principles that have helped students attain success.
“If students continue to develop these attributes,” she said as she pointed to signs that read perseverance, hard work, kindness, focus, respect, courage and flexibility, “then we shine brighter and brighter as a Meadows Star.”
Sorenson commended students for “having the courage to try hard,” on things they may not always know. She added, “Students are learning what our teachers are teaching them,” and it’s obvious.
During Monday’s celebration, the school reflected on former Meadow Stars who exemplify the values of the distinguished school.
“The goal was to look ahead to what types of citizens our students will become one day, “ Sorenson said. An Eagle Scout took the stage along with a few parents, who all attended Meadows in the past, to speak on the qualities that have helped them become who they are.
Parents shared stories about their time at the school and what they currently do in their careers.
All seven Major League Baseball players who were former students at Meadows were also highlighted by teachers.
When we make good choices and try our very best, then we’re happy, Sorenson cheered, before a three minute spontaneous school dance party broke out to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.