Whitmore Charter High and Hughson High School were the only two schools in Stanislaus County named in the 2013 round of California Distinguished Schools.
Whitmore, a Ceres Unified School District School, and Hughson High were among 218 public middle and high schools named California Distinguished Schools by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.
"These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college," said Torlakson. "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 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.
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.
Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years.
Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and become a mentor to those seeking to replicate their work. An updated searchable database of these Signature Practices will be available later this spring from the CDE.
Schools selected as California Distinguished Schools will be honored in May during regional award ceremonies where Torlakson will present each school with a 2013 Distinguished School plaque and flag.