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October 18
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]


Stevenson Ranch Elementary School in the Newhall School District has been nominated by the California Department of Education for a National Blue Ribbon award. It is the only school in the Santa Clarita Valley to be nominated this year. The CDE press release follows:

 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced the selection of 35 public schools as California’s nominees to the 2012 National Blue Ribbon Schools Program (BRSP), which recognizes some of the highest-performing and most improved schools in the nation.

“These schools all share a deep commitment to the education and well-being of their students,” said Torlakson. “We’ve recognized them on the state level, and now I hope their outstanding work and remarkable progress will be further spotlighted nationally.”

Each year the U.S. Department of Education outlines the categories for nomination. In 2012 there are two categories:

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.

To be eligible for preliminary nomination for the 2012 award, a school must have made the federal goals as outlined in Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in 2011 and 2010 and also made its state Academic Performance Index (API) targets (school-wide and for all numerically significant student groups) in 2011 and 2010.

For final nomination as a 2012 BRSP, a school must meet all of its 2012 API and AYP targets, including those for the school overall and for all numerically significant student groups. The final nomination check is completed in August/September of 2012.

Based on student population, California may nominate up to 35 schools each year.

 


 

From the Newhall School District:

Stevenson Ranch School has been nominated for the federal Department of Education’s prestigious Blue Ribbon recognition, one of only 35 nominees in the state of California.

The next step after nomination is for the 938 student elementary school to make the state’s Annual Yearly Progress” (AYP) goals under No Child Left Behind. At the end of the year over 78% of students must reach proficiency in English language arts and over 79% must reach proficiency in Math.

Principal Candace Fleece is confident. “We have exceeded the AYP goals every year for the last 10 years and we will far exceed them again at the end of this school year. Our highly skilled teachers have done an outstanding job of delivering a first-class instructional program and our students are dedicated learners.”

Stevenson Ranch is eligible for a Blue Ribbon as an “Exemplary High Performing School.” The U.S. Department of Education states, “Regardless of the school’s demographics or percentage of students from disadvantaged backgrounds… these are schools that are ranked among a state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments in both reading (English language arts) and mathematics or that score at the highest performance level on tests referenced by national norms in at least the most recent year tested.”

“Stevenson Ranch has been an outstanding example of a highly effective school and their accomplishments are proof that every student can succeed academically. We weren’t surprised by this news – the teachers and administrators there have found the keys to success,” said Christy Smith, president of the district’s Governing Board.

“Stevenson Ranch has been an outstanding school since it opened in 1996, winning these kinds of awards every time it has been eligible,” explained Marc Winger, superintendent. “This school has a great teaching staff and an extremely talented principal. The staff makes the most of the district’s mainstay professional development efforts in writing and instructional strategies, resulting in a winning combination for kids.”

Newhall School District is on a Blue Ribbon roll – this year Dr. J. Michael McGrath Elementary School was notified that it won the Blue Ribbon award after being nominated last year.

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