The following article is from the La Reina website, courtesy of Sister Mary Lisa Megaffin.
La Reina High School has been selected as a 2013 National Blue Ribbon School by the United States Department of Education. This is the highest national award that a school can receive.
Arne Duncan, the United States Secretary of Education, will present the Blue Ribbon Awards at a ceremony in Washington D.C. on November 17 and 18 to school representatives.
Dr. Shannon Gomez, principal, said, “We have a real treasure here at La Reina High School. This award is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our students, faculty, staff, and the Sisters of Notre Dame, who have ensured that the educational experience we deliver meets the needs of our students and encourages them to do their best. We are honored to be receiving this award.”
The National Blue Ribbon program honors “Exemplary High Performing Schools,” using nationally normed tests. To apply for the award, a school must perform in the top 15% of the nation in both the reading and math section of the selected exam, with at least 90% of its students taking the exam. Junior high scores came from the IOWA Test of Basic Skills and senior high scores from the SAT. In addition to meeting the test requirements, La Reina completed an extensive application which summarized the schools strengths and accomplishments and demonstrated how the school community works together to promote student success.
La Reina highlighted these school strengths in its application:
- The education of young women “in the tradition, vision and educational principles of the Sisters of Notre Dame,” who founded the school in 1964.
- The religion curriculum and Christian service program that encourages students to make a difference both locally and globally.
- The traditions that build community like Friendship Week and the Renaissance Festival.
- The Mock Trial and Speech and Debate teams that have received national recognition for many years.
- The school-wide writing program which has resulted in test scores (AP Literature, AP Language, and the writing section of the SAT) that place it consistently in the top 10% of the nation.
- The high national test scores and the number of graduates that attend four year colleges and universities.
- The athletic programs which have been recognized for both their excellence and their emphasis on sportsmanship.
- The commitment to 21st century learning and the introduction of the one-to-one IPad program.
- The addition of the period 7 elective program which has allowed students to take courses ranging from Robotics to World Cinema.
- The 6 year accreditation from WCEA/ WASC in 2010, which commended the school for “furthering the spirituality and personal transformation of students.”
La Reina’s comprehensive college prep curriculum and activities programs assist each student to discover, develop and share the unique gifts God has given her. In addition to the programs listed above, campus ministry, leadership, journalism, service, and the visual and performing arts provide diverse and creative outlets for the students.
The guidance program offers support through personal and group counseling. A comprehensive college advisement program assists students and parents as they explore colleges and financial aid opportunities.
As a private Catholic school, La Reina is financially independent from all government and Catholic church entities. The school relies on the support of hundreds of donors and volunteers every year. These partners have a strong commitment to La Reina’s mission and they rejoice at the success of the students and alumnae.
La Reina will hold a Blue Ribbon celebration on Monday, November 25.