National Blue Ribbon Winner

September 28, 2016

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National News

Dear Thornhill Families and Friends,

Please disregard the flyer sent out last night - we inadvertently sent out a draft rather than the final version. Congrats again to our Thunderbird community for this honor- the correct announcement is below.

Today at 1:00 p.m. EST in Washington DC , U.S. Secretary of Education John King announced that Thornhill Elementary School will be awarded the designation of a National Blue Ribbon School. With over 100,000 schools in the United States, Thornhill is one of just 329 schools that will be bestowed the honor of becoming a National Blue Ribbon School. Congratulations to the super dedicated Thornhill staff for earning this national recognition.

Keep on Rockin’

Mr. Daubenspeck

Official Press Release


Oakland Calif., Sept. 28, 2016 - Thornhill Elementary School is proud to announce it is one of 329 schools recognized today by U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2016 based on overall academic excellence.

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. The prestigious award affirms the tremendous work of the Thornhill community - from the administration and faculty to staff, students and parents — in creating an environment where students feel safe, welcome, and nurtured, and where they can thrive in mastering challenging content. The National Blue Ribbon Schools flag gracing a school’s building is a widely recognized symbol of exemplary teaching and learning.

"National Blue Ribbon Schools are proof that we can prepare every child for college and meaningful careers,” King said in a video message to honorees. “Your schools are on the cutting edge, pioneering innovative educational practices—professional learning communities, project-based learning, social and emotional learning, positive behavior systems—making you shining examples for your communities, your state and the nation,” King added.

“The high expectations, teamwork and collaboration we have at Thornhill are paying off,” said Thornhill Principal Steven Daubenspeck. “We earned this award thanks to all our hard-working teachers and their focus on content areas, differentiated instruction and targeted intervention, and our staff’s commitment to fostering strong relationships.”

Now in its 34th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on fewer than 8,500 schools. On Nov. 7 and 8, the Department will formally recognize the 279 public and 50 private schools at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Mr. Daubenspeck, along with fifth-grade teacher Rob Wilkins, will attend the ceremony and accept the award on Thornhill’s behalf.

All schools are recognized in one of two performance categories, based on all student scores, subgroup student scores and graduation rates:

-- Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests.

-- Exemplary Achievement Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s subgroups and all students over the past five years.

The Department invites National Blue Ribbon School nominations from the top education official in all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and the Bureau of Indian Education. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates private schools. A total of 420 schools nationwide may be nominated each year.