00:00 AM - April 12, 2018
Credit: Village Life - Julie Samrick
The California Department of Education has announced 287 elementary schools as 2018 Distinguished Schools, including two El Dorado Hills schools: Lakeview and Oak Meadow.
The California Distinguished Schools Program returns after a three-year break and replaces the California Gold Ribbon Schools Program. The program recognizes California elementary schools that have made exceptional gains in implementing academic content and performance standards adopted by the state Board of Education.
“These schools implement outstanding educational programs and practices that help California students realize their potential and put them on the path to achieve their dreams,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a press release. “Every day at these schools, teachers, administrators and classified employees, working with parents, apply their dedication, creativity and talents toward providing a great education for all their students.”
Schools that applied were eligible based on their performance and progress on the state indicators as described on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates and English learner progress.
Oak Meadow saw gains in student progress on the Smarter Balanced Assessment tests. In 2017 81 percent of students tested in third through fifth grades met or exceeded the state standards in English/ Language Arts, up from 77 percent the year before. In 2017, 74 percent of students tested met or exceeded the standards in math, up from 72 percent in 2016.
“Oak Meadow is honored to have received this award,” said Oak Meadow Principal Tracy Linyard. “It is a true testament to our teachers, staff, parents and especially our students, for their hard work and dedication to academic excellence. Oak Meadow constantly strives to provide an educational environment that helps each child meet their potential and it is wonderful to be recognized not just for our overall excellence, but also for insuring that our most vulnerable students are also meeting standards and making academic gains. I am very proud of our students and teachers and this award demonstrates what a special place Oak Meadow is to be each and every day.”
Buckeye Union School District Superintendent David Roth echoed Linyard’s praise. “BUSD and its Board of Trustees are very proud of the exemplary practices and performance that the students, teachers, and support providers on the Oak Meadow campus have exhibited over many years and this most recent recognition reaffirms their longstanding commitment to excellence,” he said. “We are also grateful for the community that supports the efforts of the school and its students. It requires the commitment of the entire Oak Meadow educational community to sustain the quality educational program that is provided each and every school year.”
Rescue Union School District’s Lakeview Elementary also received the distinction. In 2017 80 percent of students tested met or exceeded ELA standards, a 2 percent increase from the year before and a 7 percent increase from 2015. In 2017, 78 percent of students met or exceeded math standards, an increase of 3 percent from 2016 and 9 percent from 2015.
“Lakeview students, parents and staff have worked incredibly hard to achieve this prestigious recognition. It is a great honor,” Lakeview Principal Kathy Miracle said. “Our dedicated staff members offer an engaging, rigorous and differentiated instructional program, which includes the strategies and resources necessary to provide every student the opportunity to reach his or her potential.”
Miracle added that educating the “whole child” is a priority at Lakeview, explaining that math has been a focus in the fourth and fifth grades this year, as has STEM education, the arts and character education.
“We are extremely proud of all of our schools in RUSD,” said Superintendent Cheryl Olson. “Our teachers, classified personnel and administrators do what it takes to meet the diverse needs of our students, partnering with families to provide the very best education possible for students entrusted to us. A shining example of the excellence in our schools is illustrated by Lakeview Elementary.”
The California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years and allows eligible schools to apply for the award once every two years. In 2018 California is recognizing outstanding education programs and practices in elementary schools. Schools recognized as a California Distinguished School awardee hold the title for two years. For more information, visit the California Distinguished Schools Program on the California Department of Education’s website. https://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/
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