When State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson announced 2017 California Gold Ribbon Schools last week, two Escondido schools were included in the 275 middle schools and high schools honored. They are the Classical Academy High School and Del Lago Academy Campus of Applied Science, both part of the Escondido Union High School District.
“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. Four hundred and seventy-seven 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.
According to a press released from the state Department of Education, “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.”
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.