Sonoma County Office of Education

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Liberty Elementary Receives National Blue Ribbon School Honor

10/02/2017 -

Blue Ribbon, 111x111Congratulations to Liberty Elementary School, which was honored in September as one of 342 schools across the United States to be designated as a National Blue Ribbon School. Liberty was chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School in the Exemplary High Performing schools category. As a 2017 Exemplary High Performing School, Liberty joins just 22 other such Blue Ribbon Schools in California. This is the second National Blue Ribbon School Award that Liberty has received in the past decade.

Superintendent/Principal, Christopher Rafanelli, stated that this recognition, “Reaffirms the dedication, hard work and attention to detail of our students, staff, and parents. Rafanelli added, “It also speaks to the commitment of our entire community to make sure that every child is given the opportunity to reach his or her own potential. It takes a complete commitment to the values and philosophy of our school, by our staff and parents, to provide such an enriching and profound educational experience. Our families know that when you come to Liberty, you are not just enrolling your child but your entire family.”

Liberty Elementary, located in rural Petaluma, serves 219 students grades Kindergarten to 6. The close-knit elementary school prides itself on a high level of parent involvement, a strong sense of community, and a focus on the whole child—all of which helps each child reach his or her potential.

“Exemplary High Performing” Blue Ribbon schools have their state’s highest high school graduation rates and the highest achieving students (the top 15 percent) in English and math, as measured by state assessments.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos stated in a press release from the U.S. Department of Education, “National Blue Ribbon Schools are active demonstrations of preparing every child for a bright future. You are visionaries, innovators and leaders. You have much to teach us.”

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program award recognizes public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap. Since 1982, the U. S. Department of Education has sought out and celebrated great American schools. The National Blue Ribbon School award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.

Upon hearing the announcement, Liberty alum and longtime teacher, Jolene Baxman said, “We’re excited to be recognized, it reflects on our amazingly supportive and caring community. Our staff and parents come together to benefit all children.”

The recipients will be recognized in a ceremony Nov. 6-7 in Washington D.C.