Of the approximately 30 total California elementary schools announced as being eligible to receive a Blue Ribbon award from the U.S. Department of Education, three of them were Newhall School District schools.
NSD Superintendent Jeff Pelzel made the announcement this week that Pico Canyon Elementary, Oak Hills Elementary and Stevenson Ranch Elementary were all deemed as suitable applicants for the Blue Ribbon Award, an honor handed out by the DOE based on an individual school’s high achievement.
For Pico Canyon and Oak Hills, this is their first time being deemed eligible for the award and Stevenson Ranch’s third, Pelzel said.
“These three schools have been selected at the national level for their high achievement … which means they had to score in the top 15 percent in” English language arts and mathematics testing, as well as “being in the top 40 percent for performance across all student demographics,” Pelzel said.
By claiming approximately 10 percent of the nominations for the state of California, out of thousands of elementary schools, Pelzel said their programs for all students, including those who are English-learners and special education students, have been proven to be successful, both at these schools and district-wide.
“For our three schools to be ranked that high in terms of our student demographics performance numbers … that’s where it can be challenging for some schools (to gain eligibility),” Pelzel said. “But two schools who have never been recognized before are now being given this opportunity to be recognized for their excellence. And very few schools in the nation that had been selected for a third national Blue Ribbon award.”
And as they have won two of these recognitions before, and are now geared to potentially win a third, Stevenson Ranch Principal Chad Rose said that once again all credit is due to the faculty and families who made it possible.
“We’ve met the criteria (for the Blue Ribbon award) again … and it validates the hard work that our teachers, as well as the students, put into the classrooms, ” said Rose. “It validates the training and programming within our district, and it validates the support our parents give us and the things we do.”
“it is an acknowledgement of the dedicated and hard-working teachers, staff and students of the Newhall School District,” said Pelzel. “It takes teachers, site administrators, determined students and involved parents to set us and the work we do apart.”
The winners of the Blue Ribbon for the 2018-2019 school year will be announced in September by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.