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CAMS, Hill Named Distinguished Schools

The California Academy of Mathematics and Science and Hill Classical Middle School have been selected as 2009 California Distinguished Schools, an annual award for the state’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools.

CAMS and Hill are among 261 winners announced recently by Jack O’Connell, state superintendent of public instruction. These schools will be recognized on May 29 during a ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel.

This year, the extensive selection process required sites to highlight two “signature” practices that directly impact student success and can be replicated elsewhere. Teams of experts then visited the schools to gather additional evidence about the effectiveness of these practices.

California Distinguished Schools “have shown they are able to increase the achievement of all their students and have provided evidence that they are closing the achievement gaps,” O’Connell said. The dual emphasis on overall performance and achievement gap closure mirrors the criteria for The Broad Prize, a national award honoring urban school systems, for which the Long Beach Unified School District is again a finalist.

Of California’s nearly 2,400 middle and high schools, only 341 met the Distinguished Schools eligibility criteria based on their student achievement. This short list of eligible schools eventually shrank to 261 winners – 136 middle schools and 125 high schools.

Over the years, a total of 38 LBUSD schools have earned Distinguished School recognition. Both CAMS and Hill are repeat winners.