Three San Diego Unified elementary schools, Ericson in Mira Mesa, Florence in Hillcrest and Fletcher in the Birdland neighborhood, were today named Blue Ribbon Schools by the United States Department of Education.
The schools are being honored for dramatic increases in student achievement over the last three school years, something especially challenging at schools qualifying for the federal Title I program, which means 80 percent or more students qualify for free- or reduced-price lunch.
“These three schools are outstanding examples of the dedication of the entire staff to student achievement,” said Superintendent Terry Grier. “And let’s not forget the students, who must share in this salute for their hard work and serious study.”
The Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private Title I elementary, middle and high schools that are either academically superior or that demonstrate dramatic gains in student achievement to high levels. In addition to being honored at a ceremony in Washington, DC, where each school receives a plaque and flag signifying their status, these schools serve as models for other schools throughout the nation. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made the announcement from Washington, D.C.
The three schools showed significant improvement in several areas. Students scoring proficient or advanced — meeting or exceeding state standards — at the schools rose each year in most cases on state standardized tests. To receive the award, the schools must also meet several criteria, including meeting California’s Academic Performance Index and federal No Child Left Behind Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) goals.
“These results generally show that more of these students are improving every year,” said Grier. “However, as each class is made up of different individuals, it’s important to remember that these principals and teachers really start over every year.”
For more information on the program, go to the Department of Education’s website at http://www.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/index.html