OB Elementary – along with two other elementary schools and one K-8 school in the County – was nominated to be a national blue ribbon school by the California Department of Education.
Jack O’Connell told the media:
“They were selected because of their success over the last five years in increasing the percentage of their students achieving at the proficient and advanced levels in mathematics and English-language arts.”
O’Connell should know – he’s the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. OB Elementary and the other schools were among thirty-three schools nominated throughout California, and were chosen as they are working to close the achievement gap among students. Schools that are chosen for nomination in the Blue Ribbon Schools Program are academically astute and have posted big gains in the achievements of their students – and are serving “an economically disadvantaged population of students.”
I spoke to Margaret Johnson, the principal of OB Elementary for the past 7 years. You can hear the pride and excitement in her voice about her school and its achievements. She told me:
“We are thrilled. It’s just about the incredible focus and hard work of the staff. We’ve met our achievement goals, met our SMART goals. Our AIP (Academic Performance Index) has risen steadily over the last 5 years as have our test scores.”
I asked Margaret about OB Elementary being a school that serves “an economically disadvantaged population of students,” as people may be surprised about this – thinking that OB is just a community of YUPPIES.
Johnson said, “63% of our students are on free or reduced (prices of) lunches.”
OB Elementary has a student population of 405 students, of whom about a 100 are English learners. There has been a dramatic increase in students, as just 6 years ago, the school only had about 210 students.
When Johnson arrived at OB Elementary, “I thought I had arrived in heaven,” she said. The students are so joyous, “they don’t walk – they skip.”
At the KFMB Channel 8 news website, this news is posted. Below it is the following comment by “Gigi”:
I substitute taught at Ocean Beach Elementary a few times about five years ago. I’ve subbed at hundreds of schools in my lifetime and I have to say Ocean Beach Elementary really sticks out in my mind! The school is amazing! They deserve this award! The students were so excited about the lessons, polite, happy, and hardworking. The classroom was so creative. When I walked them to lunch & recess I noticed how nice, and friendly everyone was. I loved working there. I’m sure the kids and teachers there must feel the same way.
The other local schools that were nominated include Los Penasquitos Elementary, Poway Unified School District; the Ocean View Hills School, San Ysidro School District; and the Pepper Drive Elementary, Santee School District.