Four elementary schools in the Poway Unified School District were named National Blue Ribbon Schools last year for demonstrating a strong commitment to educational excellence for all students. The schools are Chaparral Elementary School, Los Penasquitos Elementary School, Park Village Elementary School and Westwood Elementary School.
"We are proud of our four newest nationally-recognized Blue Ribbon Schools," said John Collins, who was PUSD acting superintendent in May 2001 and is currently the deputy superintendent. "This recognition validates the high-quality educational programs and dedicated staff, parents and students at each of these sites. It is their collaborative efforts as a professional learning community that raises the schools to this level of excellence."
The Blue Ribbon Award Program was established in 1982 to honor America's finest schools. Schools are judged on the basis of an application that exceeds 40 pages. Applications are read competitively on the state and national levels, with top-scoring applications advancing to the next level. Selection criteria include evidence of exemplary teaching practices, challenging standards and curriculum high-test scores, and parent and community support.
In addition, each school received a two-day site visit from a U.S. Department of Education reviewer who visited classrooms; interviewed students, parents and teachers; and analyzed test scores and other educational data.
The goal of the Blue Ribbon Schools awards program is "to identify and call attention to a national group of unusually successful schools," according to the U.S. Department of Education.