5 schools from OC earn National Blue Ribbon honors

Five schools from Orange County have earned National Blue Ribbon status, considered the nation’s highest educational honor.

Staff members wearing face coverings

Laguna Road Elementary staff members celebrate their school’s selection for National Blue Ribbon honors.

Ethan B. Allen Elementary School in the Garden Grove Unified School District, Laguna Road Elementary School in the Fullerton School District and Vista Verde School in the Irvine Unified School District were joined by Costa Mesa’s Mariners Christian School and Tustin’s Red Hill Lutheran School in receiving the highly prized designation for 2020.

They’re among 367 public and private school campuses that were named National Blue Ribbon Schools across the country.

“It is a great honor for a school to receive the National Blue Ribbon designation,” said Dr. Julienne Lee, assistant superintendent of Educational Services in the Fullerton School District. “This designation recognizes the hard work done to assist students to meet the challenges of the future and prepare for success.”

In its 38-year history, the Blue Ribbon program has recognized more than 9,000 schools, with some racking up multiple awards. Up to 420 sites can be nominated each year, and winning schools are eligible to be re-nominated after five years.

The U.S. Department of Education awards schools for meeting one of two sets of criteria. Exemplary High Performing Schools are those that rank among their state’s highest performers based on the assessment scores of students and specific subgroups. Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing Schools show the most progress in closing achievement gaps.

An awards ceremony will be held virtually Nov. 12 and 13. Each of this year’s winners will also receive plaques and flags through the mail. For more information, visit nationalblueribbonschools.ed.gov.

Finally, here’s a brief announcement to the Laguna Road Elementary School community from Principal Cindy Bak.