Peabody Charter School in Santa Barbara has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a National Blue Ribbon School for 2023. Peabody is among 33 schools in California, and 353 schools nationwide to receive the award.

The honor is based on Peabody’s work toward academic performance and its progress in closing achievement gaps among student groups on assessments.

In his 12th year at Peabody, Superintendent/Principal Demian Barnett credits the school’s outstanding accomplishment on the sustained and focused work on both student achievement and equity.

“This award reflects the hard work and commitment of a community of learners that includes students, their families, teachers, administrators, support staff, school partners, and Peabody school board members,” he said.

Peabody Charter School, which serves nearly 800 TK-6 students, uses a Learner Profile that outlines the skills and dispositions students are asked to develop and demonstrate while enrolled.

The Learner Profile was co-created by the school community coming together and asking: “What do we want Peabody students to know and be able to do when they leave our school?”

Recently, under the direction of Assistant Principal Claire Krock, Peabody has focused on deepening teacher understanding of literacy instruction and support.

As Peabody embraces an approach to literacy instruction rooted in the body of research broadly known as the “science of reading,” the school is seeing a greater number of students become proficient readers in the early grades.

Peabody also credits its commitment to disrupting the predictive nature of student achievement based on a student’s demographic status as contributing to this recognition.

Under the direction of Julie Bolton, director of Student Services, Peabody pays close attention to the student experience and the diverse voices and stories of families within the community.