North Star Academy to Raise the Blue Ribbon Flag

Friday's ceremony will be attended by state senator Jerry Hill.


North Star Academy gets to raise a flag and this one is special. The home of the Gryphons will host a ceremony Friday to raise the Blue Ribbon Flag, an honor the school was given by the U.S. Department of Education last October.

Current principal Leslie Crane, former Principal Wendy Kelly and North Star fourth-grade teacher Karen Gaffney traveled to Washington D.C. for the award ceremony that took place in the White House.

Established in 1982, the program recognizes those schools exhibiting the highest levels of student achievement or which have made exemplary progress toward bridging the achievement gap.

Kelly was largely responsible for establishing North Star’s ‘Single Plan for Student Achievement,’ (SPSA) a few years ago.

State Senator Jerry Hill is scheduled to visit North Star, a 3-8 grade school, for the ceremony, which is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday.

North Star was one of only 17 public and private schools in the state of California to be awarded the honor last year.

“Receiving a 2012 National Blue Ribbon School designation is an enormous honor,” Superintendent Jan Christensen said at the time. “We are proud that North Star shares this distinction with some of the best public and private schools in the nation.”

According to the U.S. Department of Education website, to be eligible for nomination to the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, schools must be in the 85th percentile or above on statewide tests or count among the top 10 percent of schools serving a largely socioeconomically disadvantaged student body showing consistent improvement over the past five years.

North Star was designated a California Distinguished School in 2010. In the 2011‐12 school year, the school earned an API score of 990 out of a total 1,000, making it the highest-performing school in San Mateo County.


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Tia Creighton Knuedler February 27, 2013 at 07:10 PM
What a sham.
Mona March 01, 2013 at 02:48 AM
Congratulations North Star!! Keep up the great work!! I'm so lucky to have one of my kids at your school. We are so fortunate to have options like this in Redwood City!
CC March 01, 2013 at 08:37 PM
I agree that this is a sham. North star *does not* serve a socioeconomically disadvantaged student body - in a district that is only about 20% Caucasian, North Star is almost 65% Caucasian. Because that's who we're saying are the "smart" kids in our community. Is that shameful to anybody else?
John Foley March 02, 2013 at 06:07 PM
North Star is a safe haven for an otherwise fairly dangerous area. I doubt there are pregnant middle schoolers running around that play yard. I doubt North Star has many gang wannabes that force a change in the school colors as happened elsewhere in this district. Recently a little white girl at Ford was bullied for her race until she was "allowed" to escape to a different school. This is not the exception.
Tia Creighton Knuedler March 02, 2013 at 07:02 PM
Comment #1: A dangerous area? Hmm. Median home price in RWC is $675K. Comment #2: Have you been on the North Star campus? Not only is there barely a play yard, because these kids hardly play the school doesn't need one. Comment #3: Your pregnant middle schoolers comment bears no similitude to the reality on RCSD school campuses.


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