U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona today recognized 325 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2021, including 28 schools in California. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Secretary Cardona made the announcement during his Return to School Road Trip, while visiting an awardee school, Walter R. Sundling Jr. High School, in Palatine, Illinois.
The California schools named as National Blue Ribbon Schools were:
• Anaheim – Anaheim Hills Elementary School, Orange Unified School District.
• Cerritos – Cerritos Elementary School, ABC Unified School District.
• Chino Hills – Hidden Trails Elementary School, Chino Valley Unified School District.
• Costa Mesa – Maude B. Davis Elementary School, Newport-Mesa Unified School District.
• Fresno – University High School, University High School.
• Gilroy – Dr. T. J. Owens Gilroy Early College Academy, Gilroy Unified School District.
• Huntington Beach – Oka (Isojiro) Elementary School, Fountain Valley School District.
• La Canada – Paradise Canyon Elementary School, La Canada Unified School District.
• La Cañada – Palm Crest Elementary School, La Cañada Unified School District.
• La Palma – Los Coyotes Elementary School, Centralia Elementary School District.
• Lafayette – Burton Valley Elementary School, Lafayette School District.
• Los Alamitos – Los Alamitos Elementary School, Los Alamitos Unified School District.
• Los Alamitos – Richard Henry Lee Elementary School, Los Alamitos Unified School District.
• Los Altos – Saint Simon Parish School, Diocese of San Jose.
• Los Angeles – Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet Elementary School, Los Angeles Unified School District.
• Manhattan Beach – Aurelia Pennekamp Elementary School, Manhattan Beach Unified School District.
• Mission Viejo – De Portola Elementary School, Saddleback Valley Unified School District.
• Oak Park – Oak Park High School, Oak Park Unified School District.
• Rohnert Park – Technology High School, Cotati-Rohnert Park Unified School District.
• Ross – Ross Elementary School, Ross Elementary School District.
• San Diego – Carmel Del Mar Elementary School, Del Mar Union School District.
• San Diego – Elevate School, San Diego Unified School District.
• San Francisco – Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila, San Francisco Unified School District.
• San Jose – Challenger School – Berryessa, Challenger School District.
• San Marino – Henry E. Huntington Middle School, San Marino Unified School District.
• Santa Barbara – Mountain View Elementary School, Goleta Union School District.
• Temecula – Red Hawk Elementary School, Temecula Valley Unified School District.
• Upland – Valencia Elementary School, Upland Unified School District.
“This year’s cohort of honorees demonstrates what is possible when committed educators and school leaders create vibrant, welcoming, and affirming school cultures where rich teaching and learning can flourish,” said Secretary Cardona. “I commend all our Blue Ribbon honorees for working to keep students healthy and safe while meeting their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. In the face of unprecedented circumstances, you found creative ways to engage, care for, protect, and teach our children. Blue Ribbon Schools have so much to offer and can serve as a model for other schools and communities so that we can truly build back better.”
The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.
The Department recognizes all schools in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:
• Exemplary High-Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.
• Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.
Up to 420 schools may be nominated each year. The Department invites National Blue Ribbon Schools nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. Private schools are nominated by the Council for American Private Education.