Ralston Middle School earns their first Blue Ribbon

Ralston Middle School’s academic performance helped them win the selective award


Serena Poblacion

Ralston Middle School’s campus entrance awaits its students.

Ralston Middle School recently received its first National Blue Ribbon, a sign of academic quality and progress.

The U.S. Department of Education named Ralston one of 297 National Blue Ribbon schools in 2022. 

This is a significant achievement for the school, as it recognizes the diligence of students and educators and brings pride to the students.

“The school is really supportive,” said Audrey Navasca, a former student at Ralston who is now a freshman at Carlmont.

A Blue Ribbon is awarded to schools that show excellent academic performance, and, 29 schools in California, including Ralston, received the award this year. 

According to the U.S. Department of Education, Ralston Middle School’s mission statement strongly strives to attend to students’ needs and prioritize academic excellence.

Chief State School Officers deemed Ralston eligible in the Exemplary High Performing Schools category and nominated them as a result.

I’m excited to see what’s to come for Ralston. ”

— Connor Chow

High performance is defined by a criterion that lists different thresholds for three standards: the whole school performance is top 15% in the state, the school subgroup performance is top 40% in the state for each subgroup, and the high school graduation rate and college and career readiness measure are top 15% in the state. 

Thresholds are measured from different subjects listed under the three options given in each criterion, and Ralston managed to meet these standards and successfully won the ribbon.

Ralston’s newly acquired Blue Ribbon can influence students and local schools to refine their curriculums. It creates a prominent image for the school, which motivates students and other schools to improve their ways of achieving outstanding academics.

“My teachers are good, and they provide a lot of encouragement,” said Connor Chow, an 8th-grade student at Ralston Middle School.

Chow further discussed certain aspects of his experience with Ralston’s curriculum.

“We’re given new units every other week that makes it very efficient for us to learn,” Chow said.

Others who attended Ralston also touched on the quality of the school’s courses.

“For a public school, I feel Ralston has pretty enriched courses, especially with their electives,” said Shiori Chen, a former Ralston student who is now a freshman at Carlmont. 

This is Ralston’s first earned Blue Ribbon, but it’s also the first time a middle school in the Belmont Redwood Shores School District received one.  

In the past, Ralston had lower scores, but throughout several years, the school has made progress with its percentages. 

In 2014-2015, 75% of Ralston students met or exceeded the state standards for the ELA portion of the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP). For the math CAASPP, 66% of students met the standards. 

However, as of 2021, 80% of Ralston students met or exceeded the standards for ELA, and 74% did the same in math.

As seen with these statistics, Ralston has shown improvement with time and can expect to develop more in the future. A Blue Ribbon may grant the school more financial aid and can create opportunities for teachers to speak about learning environments. Ralston students can look forward to a bright future. 

“I’m really excited to see what’s to come for Ralston, I feel like I’m learning a lot,” Chow said.