"The schools we are recognizing today demonstrate the incredible commitment of California's teachers, administrators, and school employees to provide a world-class education to every student, in spite of the financial hardships facing our state and our schools," Torlakson said. "Their dedication is inspiring, and I applaud and admire their passion and persistence."
The list of schools may be found on the California Department of Education Web site at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/.
Contra Costa County winners:
- Byron Union Elementary School District
- Discovery Bay Elementary
- Timber Point Elementary
- Martinez Unified School District
- John Swett Elementary
- Morello Park Elementary
- Mt. Diablo Unified School District
- Highlands Elementary
- Pittsburg Unified School District
- Los Medanos Elementary
- West Contra Costa Unified School District
- Hanna Ranch Elementary
- Olinda Elementary
To be invited to apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria including designated federal and state accountability measures based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Academic Performance Index requirements.
Once schools are deemed eligible, the 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 school's signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices.
Elementary and secondary schools (middle and high schools) are recognized in alternate years. This year focuses on elementary schools.
Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and serve as mentors to other educators who want to replicate their work. An updated searchable database of these Signature Practices will be available later this spring by the California Department of Education.
Schools selected for recognition will be honored as Distinguished Schools at award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2012 Distinguished School plaque and flag. The event and awards are funded by donations from many of California's most prominent corporations and statewide educational organizations.