Middle and High Schools Named California Distinguished Schools

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named 13 Contra Costa County middle and high schools as California Distinguished Schools for 2013 because of their “strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student-academic achievement.”

The following Contra Costa schools are designated California Distinguished Schools 2013:

Campolindo High (Moraga) and Miramonte High (Orinda) from the Acalanes Union High School District; M.H. Stanley Middle (Lafayette), Lafayette School District; Heritage High (Brentwood), Liberty Union High School District; College Park High (Pleasant Hill), Diablo View Middle (Clayton), and Foothill Middle (Walnut Creek), Mt. Diablo Unified School District; Orinda Intermediate (Orinda), Orinda Union School District; Charlotte Wood Middle (Danville), Diablo Vista Middle (Danville), Gale Ranch Middle (San Ramon), Iron Horse Middle (San Ramon), and Windemere Ranch Middle (San Ramon), San Ramon Valley Unified School District.

The program recognizes elementary and secondary schools in alternating years. Distinguished Schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including designated federal and state accountability measures, and they must provide an in-depth description of two Signature Practices that their staff members believe have contributed to the success of their students. For applications that are accepted, each school receives a site visit by a team of local educators to validate the full implementation of the Signature Practices described in the application.

In Contra Costa County, those school visits were conducted in March by a team of 20 educators from the Contra Costa County Office of Education, augmented by two retired administrators and three district principals. The local Distinguished Schools program is coordinated by Peggy Marshburn, chief communications officer, Contra Costa County Office of Education.

Distinguished Schools are honored at regional award ceremonies, where the state superintendent of California Public Instruction presents each school with a 2013 Distinguished School plaque and flag. The events and awards are funded by donations from many California corporations and statewide-educational organizations.

For more information about the Distinguished School program, visit their website.