U.S. Department of Education Announces Anaheim Hills Elementary as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School

Orange, CA – Sept. 21, 2021 - Anaheim Hills Elementary School (AHES) was today named as one of 325 schools across the U.S. as 2021 National Blue Ribbon School. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Anaheim Hills was recognized as an Exemplary Achievement Gap-Closing School for being amongst California’s highest performing schools in closing achievement gaps between a school’s student groups and all students.

“Despite the challenges of the past year and a half, Anaheim Hills Elementary has been able to engage their diverse student population and address students’ needs to successfully support academic achievement,” said Superintendent Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D. “Their recognition as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the AHES school community’s work to not only keep students healthy and safe, but also to serve students’ academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs.”

Anaheim Hills Elementary has a closely connected school community of teachers, parents, and staff who collaborate to provide a supportive and personalized educational program for students. Throughout each AHES classroom, teachers utilize small group instruction to support the diverse learning needs of their students.

Along with their strategic approach to academic success, Anaheim Hills Elementary School values and prioritizes students' social and emotional well-being and individual development. As a school, they focus on kindness, inclusivity, and building strong character traits that last a lifetime. Teachers utilize a school-wide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) curriculum supported by the school's Mental Health Counselor.

“I am proud to serve as principal of Anaheim Hills Elementary School, where each day I witness our teachers and staff providing exceptional educational experiences to our Panther students,” said Principal Nicole Van Wilgen Moore. “As a tight-knit AHES community, we rallied together to continue this important work for our students during the recent unprecedented times. It is an honor that AHES is now recognized as a 2021 National Blue Ribbon School.”

The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content.  Now in its 39th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed approximately 10,000 awards to more than 9,000 schools.

National Blue Ribbon Schools will be celebrated at a ceremony on November 4-5.

Anaheim Hills Elementary is committed to continuing long-standing practices that have led to success while supporting the various needs of their students. More information is available on their website at https://www.orangeusd.org/anaheim-hills-elementary-school

Schools are eligible to be nominated for the National Blue Ribbon recognition every five years. In addition to Anaheim Hills Elementary School’s 2021 award, Fairhaven Elementary was selected in 2012 and Sycamore Elementary was nominated in 2014.

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The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 28,000 K-12 grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.