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April 26, 2005 > California Distinguished Schools named

California Distinguished Schools named

by Gary Leatherman

American High School, Irvington High School and Hopkins Junior High School were named 2005 California Distinguished Schools on April 19 by the California Department of Education. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell announced that 192 California public middle schools and high schools were selected as California Distinguished Schools from the state's 2,300 middle schools and high schools.

FUSD Superintendent John Rieckewald also praised the accomplishments of Fremont's Distinguished Schools. "The Board of Education and I are extremely proud of the high quality of educational services and student achievement at all FUSD schools," Rieckewald said. "We are especially proud that the dedication and hard work of the students and staff and the support of parents and community at our three distinguished schools have resulted in this much-deserved honor."

O'Connell said, "At a time when we are challenging our middle and high schools to become more rigorous and more relevant to the lives and futures of students, I'm proud of these Distinguished Schools for setting examples of excellence."

Initiated in 1985, the California Distinguished Schools Program is celebrating its 20th anniversary. This year marks the largest number of high school awardees in the long history of the California School Recognition Program, selected from the largest number of eligible high schools to date.

Our schools previously have been recognized as California Distinguished Schools 22 times and winners have gone on to be honored as National Blue Ribbon Schools eight times.

Eligibility for Distinguished School status is based on Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress results. The 288 schools that filed applications this year underwent a rigorous selection process conducted by the California Department of Education in partnership with the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, and with the help of many local educators from across the state. Teams of local educators under the direction of CDE evaluated the schools, and those schools judged to be exemplary were visited by an outside review team to validate the application information.

The California Distinguished Schools will be recognized May 20 at an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. California's 35 nominees for the 2004-05 national No Child Left Behind - Blue Ribbon Schools Program and 33 award winners of the 2003-04 national Blue Ribbon Schools Program also will be recognized at the ceremonies.

Twelve high schools will receive special awards at the Anaheim event for exemplary career technical education programs. The Exemplary Career Technical Education Program Awards are a "special emphasis" honor given to schools that provide career technical education programs to their students based on local and regional needs, O'Connell said.

Corporate, foundation and association donations as well as attending schools registration fees sponsor the awards ceremonies.

 
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