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Two Local Schools Earn Distinguished Titles

Moulton and George White Elementary schools deserve a round of applause for making the grade and are now considered 2012 California Distinguished Schools.

Give a round of applause and some much deserved attention to Moulton and George White elementary schools -- both named 2012 California Distinguished Schools.

The pair are among the 387 California public schools to be selected for the honor. These awards mark the 59th time a school in the Capistrano Unified School District has been so honored.

“This award reinforces what we already know to be true -- some of the best instruction in the state takes place in this district’s classrooms,” Board President Gary Pritchard said. “I want to congratulate the dedicated teachers and principals, supportive parents and community members, and hardworking students and staff at each of these schools. It takes a significant contribution from each and every single member of those communities for our schools to be successful.”

This is the second time for both and George White also  won in 1995, while Moulton was honored in 1997. 

Moulton's said only the top 5 percent of schools are given this prestigious award.

"Although Moulton is both a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and was awarded in 1997 for California Distinguished School, we were nominated again because of our tremendous growth in API across all testing subgroups."

Moulton’s CDS application included an overview that described its "incredibly collaborative culture and two signature practices," she said.

The signature practices selected were science and technology -- both areas in which Moulton excels. Last year, Moulton earned the highest API scores in science in the district.

The CDS visitation team came the first week of February to validate the application. An award ceremony with State Superintendent of Public Education Tom Torlakson is set for May 4.

"There is no school quite like Moulton," Culbertson said. "It is a beloved school with a tradition of high expectations and academic standard, combined with a strong partnership between parents and school staff. Moulton is an inclusive community where all students receive a richly balanced education."

Said Superintendent Joe Farley: “It is always nice when our schools are recognized for their hard work in preparing our students for college and career. Being named a California Distinguished School is more than just another award -- it is acknowledgement that the instructional practices currently in place are effective, and should be replicated in other schools.”

The 2012 California Distinguished School Award program identifies and honors those schools that have demonstrated educational excellence for all students and progress in narrowing the achievement gap.

To be invited to apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including designated federal and state accountability measures. Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. This year focuses on elementary schools.

Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and serve as mentors to other educators who want to replicate their work. An updated searchable database of these Signature Practices will be available later this spring. To view the current Signature Practices website, please visit: bit.ly/6GyrrC.

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