Three SRVUSD schools honored as 2018 California Distinguished Schools

Bollinger Canyon, Coyote Creek and Rancho Romero elementary schools have been recognized as 2018 California Distinguished Schools by the state Department of Education.

In total, 287 elementary schools were singled out — with the San Ramon Valley Unified School District schools representing three of the seven honorees in Contra Costa County.

“This distinction is a testament to the excellent education provided by our teachers, the leadership of our site administrators, the dedication of our students and the support of our parent community,” SRVUSD Superintendent Rick Schmitt said. “I congratulate our schools on their well-deserved achievement.”

Principals of San Ramon’s Coyote Creek and Alamo’s Rancho Romero were quick to attribute their success to their schools parents, faculty and staff.

“It is a huge accomplishment to achieve the honor of a 2018 California Distinguished School,” Coyote Creek principal Bill Alpert said by email Friday. “It represents all of the hard work and dedication by our entire school community- staff, students and parents. I am proud to be a part of it.”

“The 2018 California Distinguished School Award is meaningful because it validates the incredible work Rancho Romero’s teachers do to ensure all students learn at high levels. The synergy among our students, teachers and families is the reason for Rancho Romero’s success,” Rancho Romero principal Sandy Kontilis added.

The Distinguished Schools program honors public schools that showed high rates of successful student outcomes when it came to standardized testing and reporting scores, among other criteria. In 2014 all three elementary schools had been recognized as distinguished schools, additionally in 2016 Bollinger Canyon (San Ramon) and Rancho Romero earned the distinction of being a California Gold Ribbon School.

“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. “Everyday 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.”

In order to earn Distinguished School status, a school must meet certain eligibility requirements. Schools obtained eligibility based on their performance and progress on state indicators highlighted in the California School Dashboard. These eligibility requirements are divided into six key factors, student suspension rate, percentage of students who graduate, academics, college/career indicators, English learner progression and chronic absenteeism.

Eligible schools are then selected through one of three categories, outstanding student performance, outstanding student performance with high poverty rate, or outstanding improvement and equality across student groups.

The California Distinguished School program is returning from a three year hiatus while California transitioned into its new assessment and accountability system. From 2015-2017 California recognized schools that demonstrated exemplary achievements through its Gold Ribbon Schools Program. In order to become eligible for the Gold Ribbon Schools Program, a school must have had its students average testing standard be higher than the statewide average.

All three schools will be honored May 3 at the programs award ceremony in the Disneyland Hotel Anaheim. The following day, selected educators from the distinguished schools will share their expertise and resources during a professional development day.

Published April 6, 2018.


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