Laurel and Oak Knoll schools receive California Distinguished School Award

by Contributed Content on May 7, 2014

Laurel Elementary in Atherton and Oak Knoll Elementary in Menlo Park are among the 14 San Mateo County elementary schools that received this year’s California Distinguished School Award.

Announced by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, the California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes individual schools for innovative approaches to providing an equitable and rigorous education, honoring those schools that have demonstrated educational excellence for all students and who have made significant progress in narrowing the achievement gap.

Laurel School_HamiltonElementary and secondary (middle and high) schools are recognized during alternate years. For the 2014 cycle, only eligible elementary schools were invited to participate.

In order to be invited to apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria including designated federal and state accountability measures based on the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Academic Performance Index (API) requirements. Schools must submit a written application including descriptions of two signature practices, which provides the focus of a validation visit by staff at San Mateo County Office of Education.

The signature practices for the two local schools were:

Laurel Elementary – Menlo Park City Elementary

  • PLC (Professional Learning Community) Inquiry Cycles
  • Language Lab Rules

Oak Knoll Elementary – Menlo Park City Elementary

  • Tutoring…Beyond the Academics
  • Mindset: Empowering Students to Grow Their Brains

Top photo of Oak Knoll by Linda Hubbard; photo of Laurel by Laura Hamilton


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