The California State Board of Education established the California School Recognition Program in 1985 to honor exemplary schools with high quality educational programs. Schools earn the designation, “California Distinguished School” based on federal and state criteria, including but not limited to, No Child Left Behind, Academic Index (API), and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).
Schools being considered for this honor undergo a rigorous selection process. They must produce an extensive document that showcases all they do to meet or surpass the selection criteria. If the school is selected to go forward with the Distinguished School process based on the information in their application, they will receive a visit from a validation team made up of individuals from the CDE and county office of education to corroborate the accuracy of the information in their application.
Approximately 5% of California schools are selected each year.