Alameda Adds Blue Ribbon School

ASTI one of eight high schools in state to earn honor

An Alameda high school will take the stage when the United States Department of Education (DOE) recognizes 285 public and 50 private schools on Nov. 9 and 10 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Alameda Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) is among just 29 California schools — and only eight high schools in the state — that the federal government is honoring this year as national blue-ribbon schools.

DOE’s 33-year-old program honors public and private schools from the elementary to the high-school level. When determining blue-ribbon schools each year, the department measures student performance through test scores and graduation rates.

ASTI is an early college high school that works in partnership with the Alameda Unified School District (AUSD) and the College of Alameda. This award puts ASTI into the very top tier of high schools across the state and nation. The school is the only one in Alameda to receive this recognition this year. ASTI representatives will receive an award plaque and a flag as symbols of the school’s accomplishment at the November ceremonies in the nation’s capital.

"I am very proud of the fantastic work staff, students and families at ASTI have done over the last decade," said AUSD Superintendent Sean McPhetridge. "I remember when the early college high school movement was just beginning, with AUSD being one of the first school districts to start one. I congratulate all ASTI teachers, staff, students and families for a job well done."

As an early college high school, ASTI’s primary objective is to increase college readiness and retention among first-generation, college-bound students and among students from groups typically underrepresented on college campuses.

The program allows students to enroll full-time at the College of Alameda when they are still in the 11th and 12th grades. As a result, about 40 percent of ASTI’s students graduate from high school with an AA degree, and 88 percent of the graduates meet the course requirements for attending a University of California campus.

"The College of Alameda is pleased with this much deserved, national recognition of ASTI," said Joi Lin Blake, president of College of Alameda. Blake also noted that ASTI 2015 graduating class had received $400,000 in scholarships.

The school was founded in 2002 and is supported by Measure A parcel tax money.

Contact Dennis Evanosky at editor@alamedasun.com.