—The following information was contributed by Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeffrey Baier.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced that Georgina Blach Intermediate School, in the Los Altos School District, is one of 218 public middle and high schools named California Distinguished Schools for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.
Only 21 middle and high schools in Santa Clara County were honored with this prestigious award this year, out of more than 100 schools. Elementary schools and middle schools are awarded in alternating years.
“It is incredibly rewarding to be a part of a school, district, and community where student learning and student success are a priority," said Sandra McGonagle, principal of Blach Intermediate School. “Being recognized as a Distinguished School for the teaching and learning that happens at Blach each and every day is great validation for the work we all do.”
The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program directly 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.
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 work being done.
“We are proud to see recognition of the success of Blach Intermediate School. The unique learning environment created by our faculty, parents, and students is a gem within the wider community,” said Doug Smith, president of the Board of Trustees of the Los Altos School District.
“Thriving neighborhood schools are at the core of what makes this such a wonderful place to live, and we are thrilled that outside experts have once again recognized an LASD school for the special contribution it makes to the quality of life in Los Altos, Los Altos Hillsand Mountain View.”
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