Hill Earns EdTrust ‘Dispelling Myth’ Award

Hill Classical Middle School is one of only five schools statewide that will be honored this month with the Dispelling the Myth Award from The Education Trust-West. The awards go to some of the highest performing and most improved schools in California. The purpose of the awards is to share what works in raising student achievement for all groups of students, including disadvantaged students. “Yours is a story of hope, and it is now more important than ever to share your message,” said Russlynn Ali, executive director of EdTrust-West. A team of educators from Hill will accept the award at a Feb. 24 conference in San Francisco. The Hill team will share the stage with State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell. Conference attendees from throughout the state will learn about Hill’s successes. “Our attendees have much to learn from your experience and Hill’s journey,” Ali wrote in a letter announcing the award. “We invite you to share your strategies for success with other district leaders and classroom educators who want to move beyond just believing all children can learn to actually seeing results.” Seven years ago, the state threatened to take over Hill Classical Middle School if it did not improve student achievement. Since then, it has won the highly coveted National Blue Ribbon Award. In recent years, Hill has emphasized writing school-wide and has implemented Malcolm Baldrige problem-solving strategies that are used by some of the nation’s most successful businesses. The school also implemented a Safe and Civil Schools model that has minimized tardies and created a calm atmosphere. Two months ago, this Safe and Civil Schools effort earned the coveted Golden Bell Award, the highest state honor from the California School Boards Association. EdTrust West is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising student achievement, especially among disadvantaged students and students of color.