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Las Vegas Elementary School Gets National Recognition | News

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Las Vegas Elementary School Gets National Recognition

LAS VEGAS --  John Vanderburg Elementary School has received the prestigious honor of being recognized as a Blue Ribbon School. It is among 269 schools nationwide -- and the only Nevada school -- to receive the coveted recognition for 2012.

One of the first things noticeable at the school is the $3.2 million rainforest biosphere, including real reptiles.

"It's just super fun to be in here. It's so unique like our own little piece of the rainforest in the desert," fifth grader Haley Garcia said.

The rainforest isn't why the school won national recognition. Instead, it's what happens in the classroom. At Vanderburg,  94 percent of students are proficient in reading, math and science.

Principal Catherine Maggiore say they train many of their future teachers.

"Whenever we have an opportunity to bring student teachers into the building from UNLV or local universities, we do that," Maggiore said.

Ronda Reedom, a UNLV education graduate interned at the school 10 years ago.

"Now I'm teaching teachers, that's right. So, it's like full circle," Reedom said.

Parents are also given credit for helping students excel.

"I think the teachers can use the help and I feel good about helping and I like keeping an eye on my son," said Linda Meyer, parent volunteer.

Maggiore says about 200 parents volunteer at the school weekly.

Schools receive the Blue Ribbon recognition because the students perform at very high levels or because students have made significant progress.

The school does place a special emphasis on science, including hands on experience.

"Students actually go to science lab once a week for 50 minutes," Maggiore said.

In order for students to help in the rainforest biosphere, they must complete all their homework.



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