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El Dorado County schools earn ‘distinguished’ awards

By From page B6 | May 14, 2014

Ten El Dorado County elementary schools, representing five school districts, received recognition as 2014 California Distinguished Schools.The California Distinguished School Award identifies and honors schools with demonstrating educational excellence for all students and in showing significant gains in narrowing the achievement gap.

Northside Elementary from Black Oak Mine Unified School District; Silva Valley Elementary, Oak Meadow Elementary and William J. Brooks Elementary from Buckeye Union School District; Pinewood Elementary from the Pollock Pines Union School District; Jackson Elementary, Lake Forest Elementary, Lakeview Elementary and Rescue Elementary from the Rescue Union School District; and the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School from the Lake Tahoe Unified School District were all recognized as 2014 California Distinguished Schools.

Statewide, 424 elementary schools were honored as 2014 California Distinguished Schools and were notified  by the California Department of Education on April 30.Each honored school will receive a Distinguished School plaque and flag from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson during a June regional award ceremony.

“I applaud these strong, thriving schools that are making such impressive strides in preparing their students for continued success,” said Torlakson in a news release.” This award is well-deserved by these schools communities for their enduring dedication to high standards, hard work, and unwavering support.”

The application process was intensive. Schools were required to demonstrate eligibility to certain criteria including accountability to federal and state measures based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and Academic Performance Index requirements. Applications also required comprehensive descriptions of two successful signature practices used by individual schools to maximize student success. Under the direction of the California Department of Education, teams of educators from across the state screened applications and visited each selected site to confirm full signature practice implementation.

Buckeye Union School District Superintendent David Roth said it’s not just one thing that placed three of the district’s elementary schools on the Distinguished Schools list. “It’s all the different efforts and it all starts with excellent teachers and a supportive parent community,” he explained. “We constantly look at how we can improve every program. More use of technology and well-designed, effective interventions are part of that effort. It’s nice to see the state recognize the schools in this way.”

Rescue Union School District Superintendent David Swart attributed the stellar performance of four of the district’s elementary schools being honored as California Distinguished Schools to the hard work and exceptional quality of the teachers and support staff.

“There is so much going on in education now, yet they still make the extra effort to apply for this award to let the community know how excellent our schools are,” Swart said.

Swart said that both Rescue’s middle schools, Pleasant Grove and Marina Village, were recognized as California Distinguished Schools in 2013. “In El Dorado County we live in a blessed place where we have excellent teachers and this award is a symbol of the wonderful quality of education we have here,” he added.

“This honor is a defining moment for schools and acknowledges our shared commitment to narrowing the achievement gap in our diverse community and across California,” said El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools Jeremy M. Meyers. “I am incredibly proud of all educators who provide excellence in education to the children of El Dorado County. These awards belong to them.”

Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. For the complete list of 2014 California Distinguished Schools visit the California Distinguished Schools Program webpage, cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/.

Wendy Schultz


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