These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college

—Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction

For Immediate Release

April 11, 2013




Sacramento, CA — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today named 218 public middle and high schools California Distinguished Schools for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.


“These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college,” Torlakson said. “Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools. Our future depends on meeting the needs of every student no matter where they come from or where they live.”


The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program directly focuses on the right of California’s students to an equitable and rigorous education, and recognizes those schools that have made progress in narrowing the academic achievement gap.


“This recognition is a testament to the hard work and commitment of our students, teachers, staff, parents and Governance Council towards setting high expectations for each student,” said Dr. Sharon Weir, New West Principal. “To earn such a prestigious award for the second time in 8 years is a tremendous accomplishment and a wonderful reflection of the dedication and hard work of our teachers. We are particularly proud because this award not only highlights our high quality teaching program but recognizes the progress we have made in narrowing the achievement gap.”


Now in its 28th year, the California School Recognition Program spotlights exemplary elementary and secondary campuses in alternating years. This year, middle and high schools are honored after each submitted a comprehensive application and took part in an extensive site visit. The comprehensive application required New West to select signature-teaching practices narrowing the achievement gap. Ms. Almendarez and Ms. Shore’s writing strategies are highlighted to illustrate overall academic achievement in writing. The site visit was conducted on March 26, 2013 by a team of Distinguished School experts who visited all classes before confirming the honor upon New West.


All 2013 honorees will be celebrated during an awards ceremony in May 2013.


This year’s Distinguished School recipients will retain the designation through 2017, when they are eligible to reapply.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction,