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Peterson Middle School Receives 2024 California Distinguished Schools Award

Peterson Middle School was among 293 secondary schools across California that received top marks from the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

“This year’s California Distinguished Schools celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize the hard work of our secondary educators and school staff who help our young adults discover passions and access college- and career-ready experiences that will propel them through life,” said Thurmond in a news release.

“Our staff works hard to support our students academically in ELA and Math,” said Peterson Middle School Principal Chandra Henry. “We have been looking at Essential Standards and setting goals as departments by identifying root causes for student gaps and planning to fill those gaps to better serve our students.


“Peterson has worked hard to set sitewide expectations in our Pirate RRRS [Ready, Respectful, Responsible, Safe] update our school handbook, and align our progressive discipline policies that have resulted in a decrease in suspensions,” Henry continued. “With our Behavior Management team continuing work on our site behavior matrix in 23-24, we are continuing to make progress toward maintaining this positive school climate that we have been recognized for.”

Every second year, the state recognizes middle schools and high schools that either made large strides in closing the achievement gap or demonstrated “exceptional student performance.” Elementary schools are recognized in alternate years.

California uses multiple standards to measure a school’s performance, including English Language Arts (ELA) and math scores, as well as reducing suspensions. High schools are also measured on graduation rates.

Three Cupertino Middle Schools Honored

Three schools in the Cupertino Union School District were also honored with the 2024 California Distinguished Schools Award. Joaquin Miller Middle School, John F. Kennedy Middle School and Warren E. Hyde Middle School were all recognized by the state.

“I am incredibly proud of our students and staff for receiving this honor. CUSD continues to pair rigorous instruction with a keen focus on the social-emotional wellness of every child, which supports learning for all students,” said Cupertino Union School District Superintendent Stacy Yao. “Our supportive parent community continues to partner with staff to help our students grow and thrive. The unwavering dedication and collaboration between our students, staff, and families create a positive learning environment for all students.”

Lynbrook High School in Fremont Union High School District was also recognized by the state.


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