The State Department of Education once again named Menlo-Atherton High School a California Distinguished School on April 11. The school was previously recognized in 1986 and 2007.
In total, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson named 218 public middle and high schools California Distinguished Schools for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement. (California has more than 9,000 public and charter schools.) M-A was one of six schools honored in San Mateo County and the only high school in the county to be recognized.
“These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college,” Torlakson said. “Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools. Our future depends on meeting the needs of every student, no matter where they come from or where they live.”
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. To apply for Distinguished School honors, 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.
The application process consists of a 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.
Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and become mentors to those seeking to replicate their work. An updated searchable database of these Signature Practices will be available later this spring from the CDE.
Photo by Angela Lai