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School Recognition Programs - CalEdFacts

This content is part of California Department of Education's information and media guide about education in the State of California. For similar information on other topics, visit the full CalEdFacts.

The following school recognition programs are a, or were a former, component of the California School Recognition Program (CSRP).

Academic Achievement Awards

The Title I Academic Achievement Awards (AAA) was required by Section 1117 (b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 2001. The Title I AAA honored schools met a variety of eligibility criteria including designated federal and state accountability measures based on Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and Academic Performance Index (API) requirements. The ESEA required that all states receiving Title I funds establish a program that recognized Title I schools that exceeded AYP for two or more years or significantly closed the achievement gap among numerically significant subgroups. The ESEA of 1965, under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001, required a State to provide certain types of school support and recognition. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) no longer required States to provide a Title I schools recognition program. At this time, California is not providing a Title I AAA Program.

Additional information is available on the CDE AAA web page.

For information on the AAA, contact the Awards Team, Regional Support and Awards Office, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by email at awards@cde.ca.gov.

California Distinguished Schools Program

The California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program recognizes some of California's most exemplary and inspiring public schools. Schools selected for the California DS Award demonstrate significant gains in narrowing the achievement gap. In addition, each year two of California's DS Awardees are eligible to become a National ESEA Distinguished Schools Awardee. See National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program section below.

Additional information is available on the CDE California DS Program web page.

For information on the California DS Program, contact the Awards Team, Regional Support and Awards Office, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by email at awards@cde.ca.gov.

California Gold Ribbon Schools Program

The California Gold Ribbon (GR) Schools Program was utilized for three years while California transitioned to its new assessment and accountability system, the California School Dashboard (Dashboard). Information regarding the Dashboard is provided on the CDE California Accountability Model and School Dashboard web page. From 2015–17 California recognized schools that demonstrated exemplary achievements with the California GR Schools Program. In 2018, the CDE transitioned from the California GR Schools Program back to the California DS Program.

Additional information is available on the CDE California GR Schools Program web page.

For information on the California GR Schools Program, contact the Awards Team, Regional Support and Awards Office, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by email at awards@cde.ca.gov.

Green Ribbon Schools Award Program

The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) recognition award honors schools, school districts, and Institutes of Higher Education for excellence in resource efficiency, health and wellness, and environmental and sustainability education. The recognition award is part of a larger U.S. Department of Education (ED) effort to identify and communicate practices that result in improved student engagement, academic achievement, graduation rates, and workforce preparedness; and reinforces federal efforts to increase energy independence and economic security.

Additional information is available on the CDE Green Ribbon Schools Award Program web page.

For information on the Green Ribbon Schools Award Program, contact California Green Ribbons Schools, by phone at 916-322-2470 or by email at greenribbonschools@cde.ca.gov.

Model Continuation High School Recognition Program

The Model Continuation High School (MCHS) Recognition Program identifies and recognizes outstanding programs and creates a resource list of quality programs for school visitations. These schools provide comprehensive services to at-risk youth through the use of exemplary instructional strategies, flexible scheduling, and guidance and counseling services.

Additional information is available on the CDE MCHS Recognition Program web page.

For information on the MCHS Recognition Program, contact the Education Options Office, by phone at 916-323-2183.

National Blue Ribbon Schools Program

The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program is an important part of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Originated by Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell in 1982, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program recognizes outstanding public and private elementary, middle, and high schools based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. In identifying several hundred outstanding schools annually, the program celebrates school excellence, turn around stories, and closing subgroup achievement gaps. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Award is both a high aspiration and a potent resource of practitioner knowledge.

Additional information is available on the CDE National Blue Ribbon Schools web page.

For information on the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program, contact the Awards Team, Regional Support and Awards Office, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by email at awards@cde.ca.gov.

National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program

The National Association of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) State Program Administrators (NAESPA)—formerly the National Title I Association—has been selecting examples of superior, federally funded school programs for national recognition through the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program (recently renamed from its predecessor, the National Title I Distinguished Schools Program) since 1996. The purpose of the National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program is to highlight selected schools that have successfully used their ESEA federal funds to improve the education for all students-including economically disadvantaged students. These schools demonstrate a wide array of strengths, including team approaches to teaching and learning, focused professional development opportunities for staff, individualized programs for student success and strong partnerships between the school, parents, and the community.

Additional information is available on the CDE National ESEA Distinguished Schools Program web page.

For information on the National ESEA Distinguished Schools, contact the Awards Team, Regional Support and Awards Office, by phone at 916-319-0842 or by email at awards@cde.ca.gov.

Questions: Awards Team | awards@cde.ca.gov | 916-319-0842 
Last Reviewed: Monday, June 24, 2019