Ten Southern California schools were among 342 public and private institutions to receive the prestigious Blue Ribbon award from the United States Department of Education on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Each year, schools nationwide are awarded the Blue Ribbon designation for either academic excellence or narrowing the achievement gap.
Over the last 35 years, more than 8,500 elementary to high schools have received the distinction – giving them the privilege to paint a blue ribbon on the outside of their buildings.
In California this year, 25 schools received a Blue Ribbon, including eight in Los Angeles County and one each in Orange and Riverside counties. They, along with the other winners, will be honored at a November ceremony in Washington, D.C.
“We’re excited,” said Rachel Sandoval, mother of four children, three who attend Blue Ribbon winner Weaver Elementary School in Los Alamitios. “What drew us to the school was they don’t have any preconceived limits of what a child can accomplish.”
Weaver’s Blue Ribbon is for closing the achievement gap, which another Weaver parent, Michelle Shahon, said highlights the school’s commitment to each student. Schools acknowledged for closing the achievement gap saw minority students pass tests at around the same rate or better than all students in the state.
“Being at a school that strives to help every child is important to me,” Shahon said. “I’m pretty proud of that.”
Students at Wedgeworth Elementary School in Hacienda Heights wore blue on Thursday – hoping to hear their school had received a ribbon.
They weren’t disappointed.
To cheers, Paulina Cho, principal at Wedgeworth, told the school at a morning assembly that the campus had received a Blue Ribbon.
After the assembly, students in third to sixth grade watched U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ live announcement on YouTube.
Wedgeworth – a school of nearly 500 with “a significant number of students living in poverty,” Cho…