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Washington Open Elementary School Named 2018 California Distinguished School

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced Santa Clara Unified School District’s Washington Open Elementary School as one of 287 elementary schools being honored under the California Distinguished Schools Program. This program returns after a three-year break and replaces the California Gold Ribbon Schools Program.

“These schools implement outstanding educational programs and practices that help California students realize their potential, and put them on the path to achieve their dreams,” Torlakson said. “Every day at these schools, teachers, administrators and classified employees, working with parents, apply their dedication, creativity, and talents toward providing a great education for all their students.”

“Washington Open demonstrates what students can do and schools can become when the whole community is engaged in the education of our children,” said Santa Clara Unified Superintendent Dr. Stan Rose. “Principal Barbara Berman and the entire Washington Open community, including all staff members and especially the students, are to be congratulated for their commitment to the teaching and learning that occurs at Washington Open. Well done.”


The 2018 California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes California elementary schools that have made exceptional gains in implementing academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education.

Schools that applied were eligible based on their performance and progress on the state indicators as described on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates and English learner progress. Schools were also eligible to apply for a California Exemplary Program Award in Arts Education, and/or Physical Activity and Nutrition Education, which will be announced at a later time.

Washington Open Elementary School has additionally applied for the California Exemplary Program Award in Arts Education. These award winners represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning and collaborating, but also highly successful school climate efforts, ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention.

The California School Recognition Program Awards Ceremony is on May 3, 2018, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. The event includes photos with the State Superintendent, a reception, and dinner with student entertainment and speakers. The 2018 Distinguished Elementary Schools will be honored along with the Exemplary Program Award recipients (which will be announced at a later date), National Title I Distinguished Schools, 2018 Green Ribbon Schools, 2018 Civic Learning Award Schools, and the National Blue Ribbon Honorees from 2017.

A local event will be held at Washington Open Elementary School in May 2018, date and time to be determined and communicated out.


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