A number of San Mateo County schools were honored by the California Department of Education as both 2021 California Distinguished Schools and as California Green Ribbon Schools, according to recent announcements by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.
Local ‘Distinguished School’ honorees include Carlmont High and middle schools Ralston Intermediate, Burlingame Intermediate and Corte Madera. Locally, the 2021 California Green Ribbon Schools honors went to South Hillsborough, an elementary school that won silver, Ravenswood City Elementary School District, which won bronze; and The Nueva School, a private school that was one of only five California schools nominated by State Superintendent Thurmond as a “Green Achiever” to receive the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition for environmental excellence.
San Mateo County’s ‘Distinguished Schools’ join more than 221 middle and high schools in being recognized under the 2021 California Distinguished Schools Program. They were selected based on performance and progress on state indicators—including test scores, suspension rates and conditions and climate—outlined on the California School Dashboard, the state’s accountability and continuous improvement system.
“These schools are great examples of California’s commitment to provide outstanding public education for all students, and their data-driven efforts have helped ensure that their students leave with the tools and skills they need to be successful after graduation,” said Thurmond regarding the California Distinguished Schools honorees. “Our thanks go to the entire communities surrounding these schools, including the teachers, administrators and classified employees as well as the students and their families who, through teamwork, all accomplished this impressive achievement together.”
The Distinguished Schools Program, which is sponsored by the California Department of Education and presented by California Casualty, recognizes schools for their outstanding work in one of two categories: closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance. Awardees hold the title for two years.
Distinguished Schools stand as examples of not just excellent teaching, learning and collaboration, but also highly successful, data-driven school efforts spanning from professional development to positive behavior intervention, according to the California Department of Education.
In terms of the California Green Ribbon Schools honors, applications submitted for the U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition are used to honor schools and school districts for environmental excellence on the state level.
The aforementioned San Mateo County schools were among 21 schools and two school districts earning the 2021 state Green Ribbon Schools awards. As a Green Achiever, The Nueva School is among 27 schools, three early learning centers, five districts, and five postsecondary institutions being honored nationally.
“Congratulations to this year’s Green Ribbon Schools, all of whom rose to the challenge of continuing their work in schoolwide sustainability, despite strenuous conditions caused by a global pandemic,” said Thurmond. “Environmental literacy helps not just the local school, but is the ultimate example of place-based education—immersing students in service projects that benefit the whole community. California’s Green Ribbon Schools program empowers students to hone the skills they’ll use to lead and inspire their local communities to act on behalf of the environment.”
Photo credited to Carlmont High School