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Four Schools Named California Distinguished Schools

CAMS, Sato, Stephens, and Stanford Named California Distinguished Schools

Pictured above, staff members from Stephens Middle School and Principal Eric Cabacungan (far right) celebrate the school's first California Distinguished School Award.

We are proud to announce four schools in the Long Beach Unified School District have earned the 2024 California Distinguished School Award for exceptional gains in student achievement.

LBUSD’s California Academy of Mathematics and Science, Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science, Stanford Middle School and Stephens Middle School are among the 293 schools statewide announced as recipients of the prestigious honor from the California Department of Education (CDE). 

The award is a first for Stephens and Sato, while CAMS and Stanford are repeat winners.

“Congratulations to California Academy of Mathematics  and Science, Sato Academy of Mathematics and Science, Stanford Middle School, and Stephens Middle School on being named California Distinguished Schools! These schools are exemplary models of excellence and equity in action," LBUSD Superintendent Jill A. Baker said.

"Your dedication to academic excellence and commitment to fostering a positive school climate are truly commendable. Your recognition is well-deserved and serves as a testament to the hard work and dedication of your educators and staff," Baker added.

Elementary schools and secondary (middle and high) schools are recognized in alternate years, allowing awardees to hold the title for two years. This year’s awards focused on the secondary grades. 

“It is my pleasure to honor and recognize these 293 secondary schools for their efforts to provide exemplary public education to all students. Excellent middle schools and high schools play a critical role in the life outcomes of our young people,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond.

The awards honor schools that demonstrate educational excellence and progress in narrowing achievement gaps. Winners must meet a variety of criteria including exemplary performance on state accountability measures. 

“Specifically, schools were selected by analyzing data reported through the 2023 California School Dashboard, with a focus on demonstrating excellence and growth in academic achievement and ensuring a positive school climate,” stated the CDE’s announcement.

“This year’s California Distinguished Schools celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize the hard work of our secondary educators and school staff who help our young adults discover passions and access college- and career-ready experiences that will propel them through life,” Thurmond said. 

A total of 44 LBUSD schools have received the top state honor since 1986.

View the Slideshow of our Award-Winning Schools

  • 2024
  • CAMS News
  • District News
  • Sato News
  • Stanford News
  • Stephens Feature
  • Stephens News