Principals and staff at five Newhall District schools received word today that they have been nominated as Distinguished Schools and will be visited by verification teams from the California Department of Education during the month of March. Nominated for this prestigious award are: Old Orchard Elementary, Pico Canyon Elementary, Peachland Avenue Elementary, Valley Elementary, and Wiley Canyon Elementary.
The site visitation is designed to verify information that each site submitted in their application for consideration.
“The nomination alone verifies that we have great teaching, great leadership, solid student achievement and an involved community,” said Marc Winger, superintendent of the district. “We are very proud of all of our schools and these opportunities for recognition allow us to share that pride with the whole community.”
Elementary Schools are eligible for the recognition every other year, or every four years if they have recently won the award. In 2002 five of the then seven Newhall School District schools won the Distinguished School Award, the most of any district in Los Angeles County . “I only dreamed that we could repeat what happened in 2002, and it looks like we might do it again” said Winger. “We are building a fantastic track record.”
Site visits will take place in March. If the schools are awarded the recognition, representatives will attend a state-wide celebration at the Disneyland Hotel in May, 2006.
The application for the award must address and demonstrate:
* High academic expectations for all students based on California 's model curriculum standards, performance levels, and rigorous graduation requirements
* A solid, dedicated, and collaborative school leadership committed to excellence and high expectations for all students
* Comprehensive use of multiple assessments to monitor, improve, report, and recognize student achievement
* A strong core curriculum in all required subject areas that is aligned to California 's model curriculum standards
* Varied teaching strategies that meet the instructional needs of all students and accommodate all learning styles
* Academically competent and caring teachers, and strong professional development that is aligned to standards-based instructional materials and evaluated based upon student progress
* Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for all students that promote student well-being and academic success
* Support services and intervention programs for students who are learning English, who are at-risk, or who have physical or learning disabilities
* A safe school culture, that supports the inclusion of all students and promotes positive character traits such as caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness; and, proactive policies and programs that prevent bullying
* Programs that foster wellness and healthy behaviors in all students
* Support for student learning through family involvement and partnerships with business and community groups
* A well-maintained learning environment that communicates the importance of education in our society