From an Alameda Unified School District press release:
Alameda, Tuesday, April 17, 2012 – State Superintendent Tom Torlakson has named both and as 2012 California Distinguished Schools.
The California Department of Education honors the state's most exemplary and inspiring public schools with the California Distinguished School Award. This year only 387 schools from the entire state of California received this highly prestigious award.
The 2012 Distinguished Schools Program seeks to identify and honor those schools whose best practices (“Signature Practices”) have contributed to educational excellence for all students and progress in narrowing the achievement gap. In order to be invited to apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including satisfying specific federal and state accountability measures.
State Superintendent Torlakson explained the significance of this recognition:
“The schools we are recognizing today demonstrate the incredible commitment of California’s teachers, administrators, and school employees to provide a world-class education to every student, in spite of the financial hardships
facing our state and our schools,” Torlakson said. “Their dedication is inspiring, and I applaud and admire their passion and persistence.”
As part of winning the Distinguished School title, Earhart and Lum have agreed to share their best practices (“Signature Practices”) with other schools and to work with others interested in implementing those practices.
Earhart’s Signature Practices are an inquiry-based continuous improvement process (The Cycle of Inquiry) and Vocabulary Instruction to Support English Learners.
Lum’s Signature Practices are ongoing work with School Climate and with the District’s Math Initiative. All such practices are aimed to increase academic
achievement for all students.
(Last year AUSD’s Lincoln Middle School was also named a Distinguished
School based in part on Lincoln’s Signature Practices of English Language Learner Support Program and Increasing Academic Vocabulary in English Language Arts and Science.)
An updated searchable database with full explanation of these Signature Practices will be available later this spring through the California Department of Education.
Schools selected for recognition will be honored next month as Distinguished Schools at award ceremonies where the State Superintendent presents each school with a 2012 Distinguished School plaque and flag.
Superintendent Kirsten Vital praised Earhart and Lum for the great honor represented by the designation California Distinguished School.
“We are proud of the entire communities of Earhart and Lum for all the outstanding work this great achievement represents for their schools and for all of Alameda," she said.
"We look forward to continuing to collaborate and share our best educational practices with each other in Alameda and with our colleagues around California.”
Congratulations to the students, teachers and staffs of Earhart and Lum!