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San Ramon Valley Schools Earn Distinguised Honors
5 San Ramon Valley Schools Earn California Distinguised School HOnors
Apr 22, 2013
Five San Ramon Valley Schools Labeled Distinguished

Five SRVUSD middle schools selected as California Distinguished Schools - most of any district in northern California

Danville - State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that 218 California middle and high schools have been selected as 2013 California Distinguished Schools, an annual award that recognizes some of the states most exemplary public schools. Of the 13 selected in Contra Costa County, five belong to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District:

Charlotte Wood Middle School, Danville Diablo Vista Middle School, Danville Gale Ranch Middle School, San Ramon Iron Horse Middle School, San Ramon Windemere Ranch Middle School, San Ramon

This is a great honor for our entire community, said Chris George, Principal at Charlotte Wood Middle School. The report focused on the unique and consistent ways in which our staff members collaborate with one another, as well as the exemplary practices of our science department. We pride ourselves on our ability to focus in on the needs of each individual student at our school.

The only school district in California with more 2013 Distinguished Schools than SRVUSD is Los Angeles Unified (six schools selected), home to more than 500 secondary schools. Since the programís inception, schools in the SRVUSD have received Distinguished School honors more than 70 times, more than any other school district in northern California.

This is a huge honor to have so many schools recognized, said Superintendent Mary Shelton. This speaks to the quality of teachers and programs that exist here, as well as the overwhelming support we receive from our community.

The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program directly focuses on the right of Californiaís students to an equitable and rigorous education, and recognizes those schools that have made progress in narrowing the academic achievement gap.

To apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Department of Education (CDE) invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.

The application process consists of a written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the schools signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices.

These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college, Torlakson said. Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools.

Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. Schools selected as California Distinguished Schools will be honored in May during regional award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2013 Distinguished School plaque and flag.

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