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District Leads State With Three Blue Ribbon Nominees: Torrey Pines, Standley, Kearny Business

Torrey Pines Elementary, Standley Middle School and the School of International Business at Kearny High School have been nominated for Blue Ribbons from the U.S. Department of Education, making San Diego Unified the only district in California with three nominees.

The three schools were in a group of 35 submitted by the state Department of Education. Nominees generally receive the awards, which are generally announced in the fall by the U.S. Department of Education.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes public and non-public elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve at very high levels and/or where the achievement gap in narrowing. The Program sets a standard of excellence for all schools striving for the highest level of achievement.

"We're proud of the accomplishments of these three schools and grateful to state Supt. Tom Torlakson for sending their nominations to Washington, D.C.," said Bill Kowba, San Diego Unified's Superintendent.

Part of a larger U. S. Department of Education effort to identify and disseminate knowledge about best school leadership and teaching practices, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has, since 1982, been part of the U.S. Department of Education effort to showcase schools where students attain and maintain high academic goals, including those that beat the odds.

San Diego Unified was the only district in California with three schools nominated. The only other district in the state with two nominees was the Los Angeles Unified School District. Schools apply to the California Department of Education, which then selects up to 35 schools to nominate to the U.S. Department of Education.

Ten San Diego Unified schools have been honored over the years with a Blue Ribbon, most recently 2010, when the School of Digital Media and Design at Kearny High and Preuss UCSD charter picked up the prize. For more information on the Blue Ribbon winners, go to http://www.sandi.net/Page/33040.

Schools can receive the Blue Ribbon if they are:

  • Exemplary High-Performing Schools: Schools that achieve at least the 85th percentile statewide in the percent of students scoring proficient or advanced in English-language arts and mathematics on the state assessments. Schools nominated in this category may or may not have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Exemplary Improving Schools: Schools with at least 40 percent of their students from a disadvantaged background that are also among the top 10 percent of schools in the state showing the greatest improvement in the percent of students scoring proficient or advanced in ELA and mathematics on the state assessments over the last five years.

For more information on the program, go to the state Department of Education.