Editor's Note: Updated with quote from ABCUSD superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu.
Two ABC Unified School District schools were among 218 schools named as California distinguished schools today.
Tetzlaff Middle School in Cerritos and Artesia High School located in Lakewood, along the Cerritos border, were recognized for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.
"We are absolutely delighted that Tetzlaff Middle School and Artesia High School have been named California Distinguished Schools by the State Dept. of Education today," ABCUSD superintendent Dr. Mary Sieu told Patch.
"Both schools have worked tirelessly to create innovative approaches to improve student academic achievement. They have made tremendous progress toward narrowing the academic achievement gap by providing a rigorous education and meeting the needs of their students," she said. "We are very proud of both schools for achieving this wonderful state recognition."
There were 39 schools in Los Angeles County and 26 in Orange County on the list of public middle and high schools honorees.
"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, said. "Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools."
The two ABCUSD schools will be honored in May during a regional award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2013 Distinguished School plaque and flag.
The Distinguished Schools Program
The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program 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. Selection is based on grades and closing performance gaps among demographic groups.
To apply for these honores, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Department of Education (CDE) invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School through a process of written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the school's signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices.
Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. For more information, visit the California Distinguished Schools Program Web site.
- City News Service contributed to a portion of this report.