Penn GSE partnership school celebrates its second Blue Ribbon honor

September 28, 2021
Children at PAS celebrate

Penn Alexander School students celebrate with Penn President Amy Gutmann. (Photograph by Eric Sucar.)

Students at the Penn Alexander School, a local West Philadelphia K-8 school and a partner school of Penn GSE, cheered last week as they were awarded a National Blue Ribbon Award, an award from the U.S. Department of Education that recognizes academic achievement or progress towards closing achievement gaps.

Penn GSE Dean Pam Grossman joined Penn President Amy Gutmann, Penn Alexander Principal Lauren Overton, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kinney to celebrate the school’s achievement of its second-ever National Blue Ribbon Award on September 21. The school received its first Blue Ribbon award, which can be awarded once every five years, in 2016.

“This award affirms the hard work of students, teachers, support staff, families, and the surrounding community,” said Lauren Overton, principal of Penn Alexander School, during introductory remarks. “Our strong collaboration between the School District of Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, and the University of Pennsylvania allows for us to maintain small class sizes, access robust programming, and ensure all students have all they need to learn and grow.” Overton, who is also a student in Penn GSE’s Mid-Career Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, joined Penn Alexander as principal in 2020.

The Penn Alexander School opened in 2001 with the goal to build a model university-assisted, public school for West Philadelphia children. Penn GSE maintains the partnership.

Check out the full story in Penn Today.