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 Seven Recognized as Distinguished Schools, Poway Unified Named Exemplary District

Seven San Diego County middle and high schools are being honored under the 2019 Distinguished Schools Program, and Poway Unified was recognized as an exemplary district, announced State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond on Monday. 

Sponsored by the California Department of Education and California Casualty, the program recognizes outstanding education programs and practices. 

Schools are awarded for achieving exceptional student performance for two consecutive school years or closing the achievement gap between two school years. Districts are eligible to apply for the exemplary recognition if they have a site honored as a distinguished school. 

The seven San Diego County schools are:

  • Mueller Charter (Robert L.), Chula Vista Elementary School District
  • Grossmont High, Grossmont Union High School District
  • Meadowbrook Middle, Poway Unified School District
  • Mt. Carmel High, Poway Unified School District
  • Literacy First Charter, San Diego County Office of Education
  • Challenger Middle, San Diego Unified School District
  • School for Entrepreneurship and Technology, San Diego Unified School District

"Distinguished School award winners represent examples of high-quality teaching, learning, and collaboration, and positive school climates," said Dr. Paul Gothold, San Diego County superintendent of schools. "We applaud the commitment and hard work of educators and families working together to meet the needs of each and every student."

A total of 162 middle and high schools are being honored across the state under the 2019 Distinguished Schools Program. 

“I would like to commend these schools for fighting for a better future for our students, closing achievement gaps, and improving academic performance,” Thurmond said. “Thanks to teachers, administrators, classified employees, and parents working together, these schools meet the needs of all of their students, provide high-quality educational experiences, and put kids on a pathway to great careers.”

A component of the California School Recognition Program, the Distinguished Schools program was on a three-year pause while California transitioned to its new assessment and accountability system. From 2015 to 2017, California recognized schools that demonstrated exemplary achievements with the California Gold Ribbon Schools Program. The Distinguished Schools program returned last year. It recognizes elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years and allows eligible schools to apply once every two years. Schools recognized as awardees hold the title for two years.

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 graduation rates.