Skip to main content
California Department of Education Logo

2012 California Distinguished School Awards

California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
October 11, 2011

Dear County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators:

2012 CALIFORNIA DISTINGUISHED SCHOOL AWARDS

I am pleased to announce the launch of the California School Recognition Program’s (CSRP) 2012 California Distinguished School Awards for elementary schools.

This year we look forward to some exciting changes to the California Distinguished School Awards Program that will reflect the priorities set forth in A Blueprint for Great Schools. The program will also continue its focus on schools’ long-term success by providing incentives for schools to strive for high academic achievement and educational excellence for all students. (See the California Department of Education [CDE] A Blueprint for Great Schools Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/eo/in/bp/ for a copy of A Blueprint for Great Schools.)

The CSRP was created in 1985 to communicate and reinforce the educational priorities of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction (SSPI) and the State Board of Education. The recognition program honors schools that are successfully implementing those priorities and identifies models of achievement for others. This tradition of honoring the state’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools is important as we highlight successes in education.

Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. The 2012 California Distinguished School Awards focuses on elementary schools.

As this is a California program, we have decided the federal Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) results will no longer be a part of the eligibility criteria. Eligibility will continue to reflect California’s rigorous assessment standards through the state’s Academic Performance Index (API) results. In addition to continuing to use measures for closing the achievement gap, we are raising the cutoff from the median API score to the 60th percentile. For 2011, this API cutoff is greater or equal to 832. Detailed eligibility criteria are posted on the California Distinguished Schools Program (CDSP) Web page at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/sr/cs/.

The 2012 application will allow each school, which has successfully demonstrated academic excellence and closing the achievement gap, the opportunity to share successful signature practices and be recognized as a California Distinguished School.

The signature practice submission will be reviewed by a team of educators to verify the submission meets all application guidelines and is complete. Schools submitting a successful application will receive a site visit by a team of educators to validate the implementation of the school’s signature practices. The team will make the final recommendation to the SSPI.

In late October, schools meeting the established criteria will be notified by e-mail of their eligibility to apply for the 2012 California Distinguished School Award. At that time, the list of eligible schools will also be posted on the CDSP Web page along with the application and application instructions. The application will be due to the CDE on November 30, 2011.

If you have any questions regarding this subject, please contact Cynthia Henninger, Education Programs Assistant, Awards Team, by phone at 916-319-0841 or by e-mail at chenning@cde.ca.gov.

Sincerely,

Tom Torlakson

TT:ch

cc: Elementary School Principals

Last Reviewed: Thursday, January 28, 2016

Recently Posted in Editorials & Letters

  • 2017 Professional Development Summit (added 24-Aug-2016)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding the California Association of African-American Superintendents and Administrators 2017 Professional Development Summit.
  • Zika Virus Information (added 17-Aug-2016)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding Zika virus information for schools and students.
  • 2017 United States Senate Youth Program (added 10-Aug-2016)
    Letter to High School Principals, Counselors, and Scholarship Coordinators inviting them to nominate up to two students between any of their outstanding seniors or juniors to participate in the 2017 United States Senate Youth Program.
  • 2016 Directing Change Program and Film Contest (added 08-Aug-2016)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and High School Principals regarding the fifth annual Directing Change Program and Film Contest.
  • Budget Act for 2016–17 (added 08-Aug-2016)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents, Direct-Funded Charter School Administrators, and County Chief Business Officers regarding the 2016–17 Budget Act and Spending Plans.

  • New Health Coverage Opportunities for Students (added 27-Jul-2016)
    Letter to County and District Superintendents and Charter School Administrators regarding new health coverage opportunities and enrollment assistance for California's students.
  • LeadLearn2016 Forum Flyer (PDF) (added 26-Jul-2016)
    The LeadLearn2016 forum flyer that gives information regarding forum topics, forum registration, and forum dates and location.
  • History–Social Science Request for Reviewers (added 20-Jul-2016)
    Letter regarding the recruitment of individuals to participate in the evaluation of kindergarten through grade eight (K–8) instructional materials for the 2017 History–Social Science Adoption.
  • History–Social Science Recruitment (PDF) (added 20-Jul-2016)
    Recruitment flyer from The California Department of Education and State Board of Education. They are seeking reviewers to participate in the 2017 History–Social Science Instructional Materials Adoption.
  • 2017 California History–Social Science (added 20-Jul-2016)
    Instructional Materials Adoption (Kindergarten through Grade Eight)