MUS Named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School

By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 1, 2020
Montecito Union School has been recognized as one of 367 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020

US. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized Montecito Union School (MUS) as one of the 367 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. MUS won the coveted honor in the “Exemplary High Performing Schools” category which honors each state’s highest performing schools.

Montecito Union School is a one-school district serving the community of Montecito with transitional kindergarten through sixth grade. The District is comprised of a middle to upper socioeconomic population and has a current enrollment of approximately 380 students. The coveted National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging and engaging content. Now in its 38th year, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed awards to approximately 9,000 schools across the nation.

Superintendent Anthony Ranii said, “We are so pleased to be recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for our truly exemplary academic achievement. The award is so well-timed, as we are heading back to in-person instruction on Monday, September 28. The return to in-person instruction and the winning of this award are both made possible by the vision of our Board of Trustees, the tireless efforts of our staff, the constant support of our parents and community, and our creative and diligent students.

In the application, Principal Dr. Nick Bruski credited the tenets of Visible Thinking from Harvard’s Project Zero, the work of Lucy Calkins and the Reading and Writing Workshop Project, a focus on building mathematical dispositions and problem solving, and Costa and Kallick’s 16 Habits of Mind as keystones of an MUS education. “These aspects, along with a committed staff and our Strategic Plan, make for a comprehensive and cohesive academic approach that propels students to become inspired thinkers during their time here,” Dr. Bruski said.

The 2020 National Blue Ribbon Schools Awards Ceremony will be held virtually November 12 and 13 and MUS will receive a flag and a plaque, both of which will proudly be displayed at the school site as a testament to the excellence of the school and the diligence of teachers, staff members, parents, and students.

MUS is the only school in the Santa Barbara area to be given this prestigious honor. For more information, visit


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