Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.

Https

The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Posted in

2017


Audio: An Expeditionary Learning School Takes Off in California’s Mountains

Sierra Photo 3Sierra Expeditionary Learning School
Truckee, CA
Sierra Expeditionary Learning School Photo 2

In 2008, in a small town in northern California, a dozen or so parents of preschoolers started dreaming about a different kind of elementary school and chartered SELS—the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, in Truckee, California in March 2010. This podcast features Kim Bradley, a founding parent and current board member of SELS; David Manahan, the SELS Principal from the beginning, and Dr. Robert Leri, the current Superintendent of the Truckee-Tahoe School District.

Download the audio transcript here.

Sierra Photo 4
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Contact Information
Mr. David Manahan, Principal at Time of Nomination
11603 Donner Pass Road
Truckee, CA, 96161-4953
(530) 582-3701
http://truckeecharterschool.org/


Student Demographics 2017

Number of students K-8 212
Students eligible for subsidized meals 32%
Students receiving special ed services 16%
White students 74%
Hispanic or Latino students 21%
Asian 2%
Two or more races 2%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Student mobility rate 3%

 


Hearts and Minds: Social-Emotional Learning Improves Content Learning

Hearts and Minds features Pinewood Elementary School in Jenison, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids, where teachers and staff found themselves dealing with extreme student behaviors that disrupted learning. When Principal Rachael Postle-Brown and her staff adopted a “Whole School” approach to supporting positive student behaviors, a host of benefits followed. The approach has three elements: students learn Mindfulness strategies to self-soothe and invite self-reflection, while a Social Thinking curriculum helps them develop oral language skills for resolving conflict and evaluating problems, and Whole Brain Teaching engages them through physical movement and choral responses that aid students in remembering content and academic processes.

Read a transcript of Hearts and Minds: Social-Emotional Learning Improves Content Learning.

Read Pinewood Elementary School’s 2017 National Blue Ribbon School application.

Contact Information
Mrs. Rachael Postle-Brown, Principal at Time of Nomination
2405 Chippewa Street
Jenison, MI, 49428-9116
(616) 457-1407
http://www.jpsonline.org/schools/pinewood-elementary/


Student Demographics 2017

Number of students K-6 371
Students eligible for subsidized meals 28%
Limited English Proficient students 0%
Students receiving special ed services 13%
White students 96%
African American students 1%
Hispanic or Latino students 1%
Students of 2 or more races 1%
Asian 1%
Student mobility rate 3%

Audio: College Readiness Through Mastery Learning and Teaching

Photo of University Academy—Upper SchoolUniversity Academy—Upper School
Kansas City, MO

University Academy Upper School is a 9-12 high school located in Kansas City, Missouri and is on a mission to prepare students, Photo of Pep Rally University Academy—Upper Schoolnot only for college admission, but also for college success. With a high school graduation rate of 100%, this mission-focused public charter high school located in an urban center is seeing results. What’s the secret? In the podcast below, Principal Clement Ukaoma describes UA’s approach and points to the Mastery Learning and Teaching Protocol as the key to providing a framework that has helped students persist and achieve. You can download the transcript of Dr. Ukaoma’s talk here and discover more about University Academy by visiting their website www.universityacademy.org.

Contact Information
Dr. Clement Ukaoma, Principal at Time of Nomination
6801 Holmes Road
Kansas City, MO, 64131-1382
(816) 412-5902
http://www.universityacademy.org


Student Demographics 2017

Number of students 9-12 217
Students eligible for subsidized meals 65%
Students receiving special ed services 3%
African American students 96%
White students 1%
Hispanic or Latino students 1%
Asian 1%
Student mobility rate 5%

 


Teaching with Art and Heart: A Rural School Reaches the Whole Child

Teaching with Art and Heart highlights the resources a dedicated principal has secured for the 700-plus students in her rural South Carolina school, Skyland Elementary. For more than two decades, Dr. Carolyn Styles has created a thriving community of passionate educators and young scholars.

In addition to identifying and remediating students’ educational gaps and serving as a resource for their families, Skyland uses the arts as a powerful tool for student learning. A long-standing relationship with artists at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC, enables teachers to tap student interest and creativity by using music, dance, literature, and visual arts to engage students in challenging content.

Read a transcript of Teaching with Art and Heart: A Rural School Reaches the Whole Child.

Read Skyland Elementary School’s 2017 National Blue Ribbon School application.

Contact Information
Dr. Carolyn Styles, Principal at Time of Nomination
4221 Highway 14 North
Greer, SC, 29651-0000
(864) 355-7200
https://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/skyland/


Student Demographics 2017

Number of students K-5 730
Students eligible for subsidized meals 41%
Limited English Proficient students 5%
Students receiving special ed services 11%
White students 82%
African American students 5%
Hispanic or Latino students 7%
Students of 2 or more races 4%
Hawaiian/Pacific Islander 1%
Native American 1%
Student mobility rate 7%

2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools – Selected Profiles

In order to spread knowledge of innovative and successful school practices, the National Blue Ribbon Schools program profiles a number of schools from each year’s cohort. Stories are added as they are produced.

Photo of Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Scholars, P.S. 748Still Making the Grade showcases the Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Scholars, P.S. 748. Originally designed as a district-based application school for gifted and talented students, P.S. 748 featured a self-created and evolving curriculum that used project-based learning and departmentalized, interdisciplinary learning to prepare global citizens for the future. It opened in 2010.

Two years ago District 20 re-defined P.S. 748 as a zoned, neighborhood school. As G&T students aged out, a new and more diverse student body replaced them. The shift in students was due to overcrowding; their ongoing excellence was due to a stellar staff who coupled high expectations with targeted supports.

Photo of White Street School in Springfield, MAGame Changer tells the story of the struggling White Street School in Springfield, MA, where “demographics” had been the steady explanation for low student achievement. Families were reluctant to send their children to a school where only 4% of fifth graders scored Proficient in any subject. In 2010, the State Education Department had singled the school out for takeover if it couldn’t improve.

Three years into a stalled turnaround effort, a small team of passionate educators who had recently moved a similarly situated school from Struggling to Excellent arrived at White Street to effect change. Within two years, the State re-classified White Street as Excellent. Families are coming back.

Photo of Skyland Elementary School – Greer, SCTeaching with Art and Heart highlights the resources a dedicated principal has secured for the 700-plus students in her rural South Carolina school, Skyland Elementary. For more than two decades, Dr. Carolyn Styles has created a thriving community of passionate educators and young scholars.

In addition to identifying and remediating students’ educational gaps and serving as a resource for their families, Skyland uses the arts as a powerful tool for student learning. A long-standing relationship with artists at the Peace Center in Greenville, SC, enables teachers to tap student interest and creativity by using music, dance, literature, and visual arts to engage students in challenging content.

Pinewood Elementary School – Jenison, MI PhotoHearts and Minds features Pinewood Elementary School in Jenison, MI, a suburb of Grand Rapids, where teachers and staff found themselves dealing with extreme student behaviors that disrupted learning. When Principal Rachael Postle-Brown and her staff adopted a “Whole School” approach to supporting positive student behaviors, a host of benefits followed. The approach has three elements: students learn Mindfulness strategies to self-soothe and invite self-reflection, while a Social Thinking curriculum helps them develop oral language skills for resolving conflict and evaluating problems, and Whole Brain Teaching engages them through physical movement and choral responses that aid students in remembering content and academic processes.

Sierra Photo 3An Expeditionary Learning School Takes Off in California’s Mountains presents the story of a charter school’s foundation. In 2008, in a small town in northern California, a dozen or so parents of preschoolers started dreaming about a different kind of elementary school and chartered SELS—the Sierra Expeditionary Learning School, in Truckee, California in March 2010. The audio clip, features Kim Bradley, a founding parent and current board member of SELS; David Manahan, the SELS Principal from the beginning, and Dr. Robert Leri, the current Superintendent of the Truckee-Tahoe School District.
 
 
 

Photo of Pep Rally University Academy—Upper SchoolCollege Readiness Through Mastery Learning and Teaching describes strategies used by a successful high school. University Academy Upper School is a 9-12 high school located in Kansas City, Missouri and is on a mission to prepare students, not only for college admission, but also for college success. With a high school graduation rate of 100%, this mission-focused public charter high school located in an urban center is seeing results. What’s the secret? In the podcast, Principal Clement Ukaoma describes UA’s approach and points to the Mastery Learning and Teaching Protocol as the key to providing a framework that has helped students persist and achieve.


Still Making the Grade: From a G and T District School to a Top Neighborhood School

Still Making the Grade showcases the Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Scholars, P.S. 748. Originally designed as a district-based application school for gifted and talented students, P.S. 748 featured a self-created and evolving curriculum that used project-based learning and departmentalized, interdisciplinary learning to prepare global citizens for the future. It opened in 2010.

Two years ago District 20 re-defined P.S. 748 as a zoned, neighborhood school. As G&T students aged out, a new and more diverse student body replaced them. The shift in students was due to overcrowding; their ongoing excellence was due to a stellar staff who coupled high expectations with targeted supports.

Read a transcript of Still Making the Grade: From a G and T District School to a Top Neighborhood School.

Read the Brooklyn (NY) School for Global Scholars, P.S. 748’s 2017 National Blue Ribbon School application.

Contact Information
Ms. Ursula Annio, Principal at Time of Nomination
1664 Benson Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11214-3606
(718) 382-3130
http://www.ps748scholars.com/


Student Demographics 2017

Number of students K-8 555
Students eligible for subsidized meals 69%
Limited English Proficient students 14%
Students receiving special ed services 14%
White students 34%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 1%
Hispanic or Latino students 25%
Students of 2 or more races 1%
Asian 38%
Student mobility rate 3%