Students and staff gathered at Laurel School's upper and lower campuses on Nov. 21 to celebrate the school's National Blue Ribbon School award.
"The whole reason we earned the award is because we all work and learn so well together," Principal Linda Creighton told the students.
"Not all schools have such a collaborative spirit, where every individual feels responsible for the school's successes, and every student knows she or he belongs here," Ms. Creighton said. "Laurel School really is just like a family."
The Menlo Park City School District school serves kindergarten to second-grade students on its lower campus on Edge Road in Atherton and third- to fifth-grade students on its upper campus on Elliott Drive in Menlo Park.
The students are "hard-working, kind, compassionate, and curious kids," Ms. Creighton told them. "You stand up for what is right, use your life skills, and persevere in the face of challenges."
Each class went onstage to have a group portrait taken with their teacher and to receive a bag of candies in the school colors of blue and white and bearing a National Blue Ribbon School seal on the bag. (There were even blueberries for those with allergies.)
Ms. Creighton, Vice Principal Ellen Kraska, and district Superintendent Maurice Ghysels went to Washington, D.C., earlier in November to accept the award.
Ms. Creighton thanked the school's staff members for their hard work.
"You amaze me every day with your dedication to Laurel School, your deep commitment to strong educational and social/emotional outcomes for every single student, and your devotion to continued improvement," she said. "You accept, include, and more importantly believe in all students. You don't just think that we are stronger because of our differences, you know it."
Each staff member received a National Blue Ribbon School pin.
"You all have big dreams and aren't afraid to pursue them," Ms. Creighton told the staff and students. "You take pride in Laurel School as much as I do, and it shows."