Sunday, 19 May 2024

Middletown Middle School named California Distinguished School

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MIDDLETOWN – A local school has received state recognition for excellence in education.


For the fourth time, Middletown Middle School has been named a California Distinguished School. The annual award recognizes some of the state's most exemplary public schools.


On April 1 State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell called Middletown Middle School's principal, Daniel Morgan, to notify him of the award and to offer his congratulations.


The school, which has 270 students, previously won the award in 2001, 1994 and 1992, according to records of the award. It also has received a National Blue Ribbon nomination, according to the Middletown Unified School District Web site.


Middletown Middle School is among 261 middle and high schools named California Distinguished Schools this year, O'Connell said.


The selected middle and high schools represent about 10.9 percent of California's nearly 2,400 middle and high schools, according to O'Connell's office. Of those schools, only 341 schools met the eligibility criteria based on their student achievement and were chosen from 170 school districts in 46 counties.


An awards ceremony honoring the Distinguished Schools will be held Friday, May 29, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.


“California Distinguished Schools must meet the challenge of providing all their students with a rigorous education and to fully prepare today's students for success in postsecondary education or the workforce,” O'Connell said in a statement. “In an increasingly competitive global economy, it is important that the academic success of all of today's students is directly linked to the effectiveness, competitiveness, and resiliency of our not-too-distant future workforce.”


O'Connell said the schools honored with the award “have shown they are able to increase the achievement of all their students and have provided evidence that they are closing the achievement gaps that, unfortunately, exist at many schools.”


He added, “The Distinguished Schools program always identified schools that are leaders in academic achievement. It now also recognizes schools that are leaders in helping all students succeed, and highlights the best practices that are effective in closing the gap.”


Other local schools that have received the honor since the awards were first given out in 1986 include Cobb Mountain Elementary (2006), Middletown High School (2003 and 1992), Riviera Elementary School (1997), Lucerne Elementary School (1997), Kelseyville High School (1996) and Gard Street Elementary School (1986).


This year, the selection process required schools to provide an in-depth description of two “signature” practices implemented at the schools that are replicable, and directly related to the success of their students, the Department of Education reported.


During an intensive site visitation by a trained team of external educators, additional evidence about the effectiveness of the signature practices was gathered and analyzed.


Information about these successful signature practices will be shared through the California Department of Education Web site, www.cde.ca.gov, and other venues including an upcoming Web tool for educators called the Brokers of Expertise to become operational later this year.

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