Friday, May 2, 2014

Three elementary, one charter named 'Distinguished Schools' by State Education Department

Barnard, Miller and Ocean Beach elementary schools and the San Diego Global Vision charter have been named Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education. In addition, Ocean Beach Elementary was named an Exemplary Arts Education Program.
Distinguished School
According to the California Department of Education, the 2014 California Distinguished Schools Program focuses on California’s students’ right to an equitable and rigorous education, and recognizes those schools that have made progress in narrowing the academic achievement gap. Elementary schools are honored in even-numbered years, while middle and high schools take their bows in odd-numbered years.

Board of Education President Kevin Beiser noted that two of the three elementary schools, Miller and Ocean Beach, are considered neighborhood schools. Barnard is a magnet school.

"This is just another indicator that we are well along on our goal to place a quality school in every neighborhood," said Beiser. "The principals, staffs and students all deserve credit for this important award."

To apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Department of Education (CDE) invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School. The 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 focused on the implementation of those signature practices.

“I applaud these strong, thriving schools that are making such impressive strides in preparing their students for continued success,” state Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said. “This award is well-deserved by these school communities for their enduring dedication to high standards, hard work, and unwavering support.”

Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and become a mentor to those seeking to replicate their work.

Barnard Asian Pacific Language Academy is located in Pacific Beach, moving this school year from its original Pt. Loma location. The school offers language immersion Mandarin Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages, as well as an international cultural outlook.

Miller Elementary School is located in the Tierrasanta/Murphy Canyon community, serving mostly students from military housing and other areas in the community. The Miller Way (respectful, responsible, and caring) is modeled and practiced by our staff and students.

Ocean Beach Elementary School is one of the centers of its namesake neighborhood. Monthly themes of self-discipline, determination, positive attitude, respect, friendship, responsibility, enthusiasm, team spirit, and personal best permeate our classrooms, hallways, and conversations. The City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department is a partner and provides some of the arts programs.