The state alternates between recognizing elementary schools or middle and high school programs each year.
“The California Distinguished School Award identifies and honors those schools that have demonstrated educational excellence for all students and process in narrowing the achievement gap,” a description of the program reads on the California Department of Education website. To be invited to apply for distinguished school honors the school must meet a variety of eligibility criteria including federal and state accountability measures such as the Academic Performance Index.
A team of educators from across the state reviewed the applications from middle school and high school programs this year, followed by a site visit to review practices described in the applications.
Representatives from San Benito County are expected to attend a luncheon at the Santa Clara Marriott on May 17, when the California Department of Education superintendent will present distinguished schools with a plaque and a flag.
More than 100 schools were selected for the 2013 Distinguished School Award, though the Accelerated Achievement Academy is the only school from Hollister.
In 2012, Hollister Dual Language Acadmey was honored as a Distinguished School in the elementary school category and in 2010, Spring Grove was honored as a distinguished school in the elementary school category. Schools can only apply for distinguished honors every four years.