Yard signs sprout overnight to celebrate OC’s 2024 California Distinguished Schools

More than two dozen volunteers from the Orange County Department of Education recently added a little extra landscaping flair to 38 local schools.

Before the first bell rang on Wednesday morning, 26 staff members from OCDE’s Educational Services Division had stealthily placed celebratory yard signs outside every Orange County campus that made the list of 2024 California Distinguished Schools.

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced this year’s Distinguished Schools in late February as part of the California Department of Education’s long-running effort to spotlight high-achievers and sites that are successfully closing achievement gaps.

Quietly planting lawn signs outside of local schools that have earned the designation is an OCDE tradition that dates back about 23 years, according to Ranjit Mayadas, OCDE’s manager of events and partnerships.

“It’s another way to recognize the incredible work by teachers, staff, students and the school’s community,” Mayadas said.