By Sandra Molina, Staff Writer
A Hacienda La Puente Unified school has been named a National Blue Ribbon School for academic excellence and closing achievement gaps. Los Molinos Elementary School in Hacienda Heights received the honor.
“These great schools are fulfilling the promise of American education — that all students, no matter their name or zip code, can flourish when schools provide safe, creative and challenging learning environments,” stated U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in a press release. “National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student.”
Twenty-four California schools from a total of 334 schools nationwide earned this distinction.
At Los Molinos, third-year principal, Erin Roderick, gave credit to students’ parents working with school officials for achieving the blue ribbon status.
“We have a cohesive community of teachers, parents and staff who work together for the success of our students,” Roderick said. “Parent involvement is key.”
Los Molinos’ blue ribbon was based on exemplary achievement gap closing.
“We never give up,” she said of overcoming obstacles — such as language, socioeconomic backgrounds, lack of technological advancements at home — to educate their students.
The recognition “is a validation of what we are doing here is working,” she said. “When your kids walk through the school’s door, know that we are setting them up for a positive future.”
Both public and non-public schools are eligible for the National Blue Ribbon Schools award. All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates.