State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that 323 elementary schools are being honored under the 2020 California Distinguished Schools Award Program. Sponsored by the California Department of Education and presented by California Casualty, the program recognizes outstanding education programs and practices. Schools are awarded for closing the achievement gap and for achieving exceptional student performance.
Local schools include Santa Clara Unified School District’s Millikin Elementary School, Sunnyvale School District’s Cumberland Elementary School, Campbell Union School District’s Castlemont Elementary School and Campbell Union School District’s Village School.
“These outstanding schools don’t just educate students; they also provide the young people of California the tools they need to be successful after graduation,” said Thurmond. “Thanks go to all the staff at these schools — teachers, administrators, classified employees — and parents, who are working together to provide high-quality educational experiences for all of their students.”
A component of the California School Recognition Program, the Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools based on performance and progress on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate. Elementary schools and middle and high schools are recognized in alternate years; therefore, awardees hold the title for two years.
Every year, two of California’s Distinguished Schools Awardees are also eligible to be recognized as a National Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools Awardee. Information about California’s National ESEA Distinguished Schools can be found on the CDE National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program website.
Distinguished School awardees represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention.
These California Distinguished Schools, along with California Exemplary Arts Education Schools, National Blue Ribbon Schools, National Terrel H. Bell Awardees and National ESEA Distinguished Schools, all will be honored on Feb. 10, during an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.
For more information, visit the CDE California School Recognition Program website.