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California Gold Ribbon Schools Program

A program for which honors some of California's outstanding public schools. Schools that are selected demonstrate exemplary achievements in implementing state standards in priority areas.

Program Information

A former component of the California Department of Education (CDE) California School Recognition Program (CSRP), the California Gold Ribbon (GR) Schools Program was utilized for three years in place of the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program 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.

Traditionally, the California DS Program honored public schools that showed improved student outcomes as measured through Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) scores and additional measures. As programs and policies evolved, the CDE looked toward the same recognition of educational quality with the implementation of academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) for all pupils, including English learners. California schools that made tremendous gains in implementing SBE policies and their Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) were invited to apply for the California GR Schools Award.

Staying consistent with the California DS Program, the California GR Schools Program recognized elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years and allowed eligible schools to apply for the California GR Schools Award once every two years. Schools recognized as a California GR School Awardee hold the Title for two years.


California School Recognition Program Merchandise
Information about California School Recognition Program merchandise.

California Gold Ribbon Schools Logo
California Gold Ribbon Schools downloadable logo for use by California Gold Ribbon Schools Awardees.

California Gold Ribbon Schools Awardees
California Gold Ribbon Schools Awardees by year.

California Exemplary Program Awardees
California Exemplary Program Awardees by year.

Questions: Awards Unit | | 916-319-0842 
Last Reviewed: Monday, March 21, 2022