State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today announced that more than 350 elementary schools have been selected for the prestigious 2023 California Distinguished Schools Program. The award program is celebrating its return this year after the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily suspended reporting of state and local student data. Since its inception in 1985, the California Distinguished Schools Award remains one of the important ways to celebrate exceptional schools, districts, teachers, and classified employees for their innovation, talent, and success in supporting students.
The exceptional elementary schools recognized this year are illustrative of the hard work, dedication, and resilience shown by educators and schools across the state after communities struggled for multiple years with urgent effects to physical and mental health and unprecedented challenges to delivering education. To select California Distinguished Schools, the California Department of Education (CDE) uses multiple measures to identify eligible schools based on their performance on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard (Dashboard). Specifically, schools were selected by analyzing data reported through the 2022 Dashboard, including assessment results, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and socioeconomic data. Information regarding the 2022 Dashboard is provided on the CDE California School Dashboard and System of Support web page.