State names 35 OC campuses as 2020 California Distinguished Schools

The state Department of Education has named 35 Orange County campuses as 2020 California Distinguished Schools, the top honor for public schools based on outstanding education programs and practices. Statewide, 323 schools received the honor.

“These outstanding schools don’t just educate students; they also provide the young people of California the tools they need to be successful after graduation,” state Superintendent Tony Thurmond said in a news release. “Thanks go to all the staff at these schools — teachers, administrators, classified employees — and parents, who are working together to provide high-quality educational experiences for all of their students.”

teacher works with students on a project

A teacher at Laurel Elementary Magnet School School in Brea-Olinda Unified works with students on a project.

The Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools based on performance and progress on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate. Elementary schools and middle and high schools are recognized in alternate years, so awardees hold the title for two years.

Every year, two California Distinguished School awardees are also eligible to be recognized as national Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished School awardees. Information about California’s national honorees can be found on the CDE National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program webpage.

California Distinguished School awardees represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts, ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention, Thurmond said.

These California Distinguished Schools, along with California Exemplary Arts Education Schools, National Blue Ribbon Schools, National Terrel H. Bell Awardees, and National ESEA Distinguished Schools, all will be honored on Feb. 10 during an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. For more information, please visit the CDE California School Recognition Program webpage.

At Laurel Elementary Magnet School in Brea-Olinda Unified, Principal Mike Trimmell said the recognition served as validation of the hard work and dedication of Laurel’s student body, teachers, staff and community.

“This honor reflects their inspiring team effort and commitment,” he said. “Laurel is certainly distinguished already in the hearts of so many within our community, and this state-level acknowledgment is a testament to the qualities and accomplishments that make Laurel so special.”

Here’s the list of the local honorees:

School District
Laurel Elementary Magnet School School of Innovation and Career Exploration Brea-Olinda Unified School District
Charles G. Emery Elementary Buena Park School District
Buena Terra Elementary Centralia Elementary School District
George B. Miller Elementary Centralia Elementary School District
Clara J. King Elementary Cypress School District
Margaret Landell Elementary Cypress School District
Steve Luther Elementary Cypress School District
Acacia Elementary Fullerton School District
Laguna Road Elementary Fullerton School District
Robert C. Fisler Elementary Fullerton School District
A. G. Cook Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Agnes Ware Stanley Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Ernest O. Lawrence Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Ethan B. Allen Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Excelsior Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Genevieve M. Crosby Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Morningside Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Ocia A. Peters Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
R. F. Hazard Elementary Garden Grove Unified School District
Ralph E. Hawes Elementary Huntington Beach City School District
Dr. Peter Marshall Magnolia School District
Juliette Low School of the Arts Magnolia School District
Walt Disney Magnolia School District
California Elementary Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Killybrooke Elementary Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Paularino Elementary Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Sonora Elementary Newport-Mesa Unified School District
Circle View Elementary Ocean View School District
Star View Elementary Ocean View School District
Scholarship Prep Orange County Department of Education
Golden Elementary Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
John Muir Fundamental Elementary Santa Ana Unified School District
Cerritos Elementary Savanna School District
Hicks Canyon Elementary Tustin Unified School District
Jessie Hayden Elementary Westminster School District