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Tuesday, February 19 , 2019, 10:33 pm | Fair 41º


Nine Santa Barbara County Schools Earn ‘Gold Ribbon’ Status

On April 14, the California Department of Education (CDE) named nine schools in Santa Barbara County as recipients of the California Gold Ribbon School Award.

Ballard Elementary School, Cold Spring School, Santa Ynez Elementary School, Hope School, Monte Vista School, Leonora Fillmore School, Manzanita Charter, Franklin School and Alvin Avenue School were the award recipients.

According to the CDE’s website, the Gold Ribbon School Awards recognize elementary schools that have made great gains in implementing State Board policies and their Local Control Accountability Plan.

“Model programs and practices should include standards-based activities, projects, strategies and practices that schools have adopted, which can be replicated by other local educational agencies,” the CDE says.

Each of the nine schools had submitted an application to the CDE last November. Schools that received a qualifying score on their written application were then recommended to move forward to the site validation process, administered by the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

“We appreciate the opportunity to recognize and support Santa Barbara County’s schools,” said Steve Keithley, the County Education Office’s director of teacher programs and support. “We get to see exemplary model programs at each of these schools.”

“No matter how long we’ve been around children and been in classrooms, we never cease to be amazed by the wonderful things going on in schools throughout Santa Barbara County,” added Carla Benchoff, another member of the validation team.

From model programs such as Franklin Elementary School’s “Franklin Service Center” — which provides unique, broad services to the entire school community — to Leonora Fillmore School’s “Building 21st Century Learners” model program, which heavily integrates technology throughout the day, the validation teams saw a wide array of academic excellence. 

During their trip to Santa Ynez Valley Elementary, the team was also treated to a brief concert by students, which consisted of brass and wind instruments and a percussion section.

“It’s my goal that every child in the district plays an instrument,” said College School District Superintendent Dr. James Brown. “When we hired Kay Dominguez as our music specialist three years ago, I told her, ‘Let’s get started.’ We’ve made some nice progress,” he concluded with a smile. 

“I love hearing the feedback from the visitation teams following an especially exciting day for them,” says County Superintendent Bill Cirone, whose office oversees the teacher programs and support team’s efforts. “They’re reminded every time about the great things students, teachers and parents are doing in schools throughout Santa Barbara County.”

Officials from each of the Gold Ribbon Schools in Santa Barbara County will be recognized at a regional celebration for the awardees in southern California at “L.A. Live” with California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson May 24.

David J. Lawrence is the director of communications for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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