Lee Elementary School in Rossmoor has been nominated by the State of California as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School — generally considered the highest honor an American school can achieve. One of six elementary schools in the Los Alamitos Unified School District, Lee was nominated by State Superintendent of Education Tony Thurmond as “an exemplary high-performing school” that ranked in the top 10 percent on statewide testing.
Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in the US Department of Education, recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
In competing for the award with 34 other schools statewide and about 400 nationwide, the Lee staff now must undergo a rigorous, months-long process to demonstrate how the school meets students’ academic, emotional, social, and cultural needs, creates a school climate that addresses student diversity, and adapts to the challenges of education during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Blue Ribbon nomination “is an incredible recognition and a tremendous nod to all we have accomplished,” said Lee Principal Amy Vento. “Our students have high academic success because of everything we as a team do, not just the stellar math and reading lessons. We create a safe environment for kids to learn, grow, and connect. We give kids the freedom to make and learn from mistakes. As a result, our students are all in, performing with grit, especially while being challenged.”
Final award recipients will be announced later in the year.