The announcement was made in Washington, D.C., by John B. King Jr., the U.S. Secretary of Education.
“Today, one more star in the Los Angeles Unified School District family shines brighter. We are so proud of the Wonderland Elementary family for receiving the Blue Ribbon School honor for their exemplary programs,” School Board President Steve Zimmer said.
Superintendent Michelle King said, “Congratulations to the students, faculty and administrators at Wonderland Elementary School. This prestigious and well-deserved honor reflects their hard work, dedication and commitment to educational excellence.”
Wonderland Principal Sean Teer credited the entire school family.
“Great things happen at schools when theory and practice intersect. Our school has chosen many high-impact and researched-based practices that help us meet the needs of our students,” Teer said. “I am so proud of the hard work of our students, staff and parents.”
Schools are nominated for the award by their respective state departments of education, and then complete a comprehensive application about school practices. Schools may apply for status as Exemplary High Performing – based on academic success – or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing – those that make significant progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.
Wonderland is improving teaching and learning through the use of a Reading and Writing Workshop, which helps students become avid and skilled readers, writers and inquirers.
“We accomplish this through working shoulder-to-shoulder with students, teachers, and school leaders. The professional development with our teachers has developed state-of-the-art tools and methods for teaching reading and writing,” Teer said.
“We’ve also implemented a mathematics methodology that has proven to be pivotal for our teachers, our students, and our community,” he added. “The most distinguished feature of Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) is that it focuses on developing students’ mathematical reasoning.”
In such a classroom, teachers have to make decisions based on individual needs and on where students are in the trajectory of mathematical thinking, strategies and reasoning.
The school also was lauded for promoting academic, social, emotional, and organizational growth through its “Way of Council.” The program is woven into the curriculum so that everyone works toward a more peaceful and empathic way of relating to one another.
Wonderland also is very proud of its highly acclaimed music, art, gardening and physical education programs. These programs flourish with the assistance of the active parent/guardian community.
“Wonderland Avenue Elementary is a special place for our kids and our parent community. As parents it is our role to support the school with both resources and our time. Many of the programs we have wouldn’t be possible without our parents,” said Alexis Maydew, mother of three students and the school’s PTA president.
Teer will represent Wonderland at an awards ceremony Nov. 7-8 in Washington, D.C., to celebrate the school’s hard-won achievement.
Contact: Ellen Morgan (213) 241-6766