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July 21
1952 - 7.5-magnitude Kern County earthquake devastates Tehachapi; damage spread from San Diego to Las Vegas [story]
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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson Tuesday announced that 275 middle schools and high schools are being honored under the Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program and schools in William S. Hart Union High School District made the cut.

Canyon High School, Golden Valley High School, William S. Hart Senior High, Rancho Pico Middle School, and Sierra Vista Junior High School were amongst the schools chosen. The list of recognized schools can be found [here].

“I am very proud of all of our schools,” said Vicki Engbrecht, Superintendent of the Hart School District. “These awards reflect the high level of professionalism our teachers and administrators have for education. They are constantly working creatively together to give every student the opportunity to have an excellent education. And these awards also say something about our community because if it wasn’t for outstanding parental involvement, our schools, and more importantly our students, wouldn’t be as successful as they are.”

“These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college,” Torlakson said. “I look forward to travelling the state to honor these schools and to help share the programs, methods, and techniques that are working.”

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment, accountability, and continuous improvement systems. 477 middle schools and high schools applied this year.

Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The award acknowledged elementary schools last year.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards

These schools represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaborating, but also highly successful school climate efforts, ranging from real time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention. Some examples of this year’s honorees are:

– Bear River High School, Nevada Joint Union High School District: The Bruin Time program at Bear River High School was developed to improve the performance of struggling students. Bruin Time is a 41-minute period built into the school day four days a week for the purpose of providing tutoring and other interventions for struggling students.

– Chico High School, Chico Unified School District: Chico High School has initiated and developed six College and Career Technical Education Pathways: Agriculture Mechanics/Manufacturing; Architecture/Engineering; Health; Information, Communication, Technology; Design, Arts, Media; and Agri-Science. These programs are meant to motivate students by providing them with real-life, problem-based learning that will help keep them engaged in their studies and prepare them for their next chapter, whether it’s a job, trade school, community college or a four-year university.

– Downtown Magnets High School, Los Angeles Unified School District: Downtown Magnets High School has implemented an initiative called the Comprehensive Mathematics Achievement Gap plan, which aims to target the mathematics achievement gap that has historically existed between African-American and Latino students and their Caucasian and Asian counterparts. The plan provides assistance and tutoring within and outside of the school day and draws upon the support of teachers, administrators, parents, and community members.

– Middle College High School, West Contra Costa Unified School District: Middle College High School collaborated with Contra Costa College to create an Early College High School program, which helps prepare them for college by increasing their exposure to college. It has helped increase the number of students who graduate from high school and go on to pursue post-secondary education.

– Warm Springs Middle School, Murrieta Valley Unified School District: The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program was implemented at Warm Springs Middle School to help encourage students whose parents did not attend college to enroll in college. AVID enhances instruction, school-wide systems, culture and climate, and leadership to focus on preparing students for college and career readiness.

Additionally, Gold Ribbon awardees that are also Title I schools were recognized as Academic Achieving Schools and are identified as such on the list. This additional recognition is given only to schools receiving federal Title I funds that assist in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty line.

The 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools as well as the 2017 Exemplary Program recipients, Title I Academic Achieving Award Schools, 2017 Green Ribbon Schools, 2017 Civic Learning Award Schools, and the National Blue Ribbon Schools from 2016, will be honored in May during regional ceremonies held in Costa Mesa, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Visalia, and Sacramento.

The Gold Ribbon Schools being recognized for Exemplary Programs in Arts Education and Physical Education and Nutrition will be announced soon.

Please visit the California Gold Ribbon Schools Program on the California Department of Education’s (CDE’s) Web site.

The CDE California School Recognition Program is presented by San Mateo-based California Casualty.

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