Penfield Central School District

Cobbles Elementary Named National Blue Ribbon School

Cobbles Elementary School in the Penfield Central School District has been named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education. Cobbles is one of 289 schools being recognized for overall academic excellence.

“We are proud to be recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School,” said Principal Don Bavis.  “This honor acknowledges the hard working teams at Cobbles, as well as the collaborative partnerships shared between the Cobbles’ faculty, staff, students, parents, district and the greater Penfield community.”

Cobbles is being recognized as an Exemplary High Performing School. Exemplary High Performing Schools are among their state’s highest performing schools as measured by state assessments or nationally normed tests. Student subgroup performance and high school graduation rates are also at the highest levels.

“National Blue Ribbon Schools are models of consistent excellence and a resource for other schools and districts. We celebrate them for their tireless effort and boundless creativity in reaching and teaching every student,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in making the announcement.

Honorees were recognized at a ceremony in Washington, DC and will serve as models for other schools throughout the nation.

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    Penfield Central School District - Suzuki Program Celebrates 50th Anniversary

    The Penfield Central School District’s music program has gained national and international attention for many years. From general classroom music to band, orchestra, chorus, jazz choir and more, the District’s robust program allows students to explore their musical talents in many different ways. Perhaps one of the most unique opportunities offered in the District is the Suzuki Strings program, which allows students to begin string lessons in first grade. The program is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2015-16 school year.

    The Suzuki program began in Penfield in the fall of 1966 with Project SUPER. SU stood for Suzuki, P for Penfield Central School District, E for Eastman School of Music, and R for Rochester City School District. Dr. Shinichi Suzuki visited a few times each year for the first two years to work with the teachers and students in those three locations. Twenty-five first grade Penfield students started Suzuki violin during the first year. Cello was added a couple of years later, followed by viola. Over the past 50 years, the program has grown to more than 300 students.

    The Suzuki method of teaching is unique in that it requires direct parental involvement. Parents attend lessons and learn string instruments right along with their child. They provide support and work with the child on practicing between lessons. In this way, through encouragement and repetition, the children learn to play the instrument, while building upon the repertoire of music they master.

    The Suzuki program provides many opportunities for students to showcase their learning at school-based and district concerts throughout the year. In addition to these concerts, an alumni concert and a special 50th Anniversary Concert will be held in April.

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