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2009 National Blue Ribbon School Profiles

Each year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program visits selected schools to capture their stories. Produced as audio slideshows, these school profiles feature the voices and images of principals, teachers, students, parents, and community members as they offer first-person perspectives on what makes their schools strive for—and achieve—excellence.

The six schools profiled among the 2009 National Blue Ribbon Schools are high-poverty, high-achieving schools that demonstrate the kind of excellence any school in America can achieve, with the right combination of people, will, and effort. The 2009 profiled schools comprise four elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

NBRS program staff created four videos from a site visit to Alice Coachman Elementary School, Albany, GA: Aspects of School Culture, on creating a coherent, student-centered culture, Distributed Leadership, on opportunities for teacher leadership, Parent Involvement, on engaging parents in supporting and extending school learning, and Community Engagement, on tapping community resources to further the school’s mission.

NBRS program staff created four videos from a site visit to Hopewell Elementary School, Taunton, MA: Accountability for All, on ending social promotion and making student data easily accessible, Creating a Culture of Literacy, on using a locally developed, powerful phonics program and other literacy initiatives, Educating the Whole Child, on enrichment opportunities and a social-emotional learning curriculum integrated with coursework, and Empowering Staff, on expanding co-teaching opportunities for classroom assistants.

NBRS program staff created three videos about John S. Wash Elementary School, Fresno, CA: Defining Moments of School Change, featuring Superintendent Marc Johnson on transformational change, Professional Learning Communities Powered By Data, on using weekly formative data as well as summative data to resolve instructional challenges, and Focus on Professional Development, on accelerating professional learning.

NBRS staff created five videos about St. Mary’s Academy Charter School, Beeville, TX: The St. Mary’s Charter School Story, on the school’s rebirth, Extended Learning Time, on making more time for student learning, Innovative Staffing, on deploying professional resources effectively, Counseling for Students, on helping students meet daunting challenges, and Reading, on reinforcing literacy.

NBRS program staff created four videos about Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School, Baton Rouge, LA: “Hire Well”, on staffing, A Learning Community on professional collaboration, A Rigorous, Well-Rounded Curriculum, on course offerings, and Student Support, on behavioral and academic interventions for students.

NBRS staff created the videos about Pompano Beach High School, Pompano Beach, FL: School Culture and Learning Through Authentic Tasks about Pompano.

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