Santa Monica Charter School Recognized As ‘Exceptional’ CA School

SANTA MONICA, CA — Canyon Charter Elementary School in Santa Monica honored as part of California’s 2023 Distinguished Schools Program, recognizing its innovation, talent and success in supporting students.

The award program returned this year after the COVID-19 pandemic suspended reporting of student data. Canyon Charter was recognized as part of the list of 356 total elementary schools in the state and was one of nine schools awarded in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

“Congratulations to the nine Los Angeles Unified schools selected as 2023 California Distinguished Schools,” LAUSD Superintendent Alberto M. Carvalho said. “It is because of the exceptional work of educators, staff, families and school communities that our District has some of the highest performing schools in the state. Los Angeles Unified will be the premier urban school district in the nation, led by our California Distinguished Schools.”

The California Department of Education program recognized the schools based on performance and progress on state indicators including assessment results, suspension rates, chronic absenteeism and socioeconomic data.

Schools are selected for excellent work in one of two categories: closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance. Awardees hold the title for two years.

Each year, two of the Distinguished Schools awardees are eligible to become a National Association of Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished Schools Awardee. ESEA schools are known for improving education for all students including economically disadvantaged ones.

“California Distinguished Schools represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful, data-driven school efforts ranging from professional development for educators to mental health and social-emotional wellness strategies to address the needs of students and families ,” State Superintendent Tony Thurmond said.

Other LAUSD schools recognized were Balboa Gifted/High Ability Magnet Elementary, Goethe International Charter, Granada Hills Charter, Larchmont Charter, Richland Avenue Elementary, Renaissance Arts Academy, Science Academy STEM Magnet and Westwood Charter Elementary.

The 2023 California Distinguished School Program Awards Ceremony to honor the recipients will be held mid-February.

“It is my pleasure to honor and recognize these 356 elementary schools for providing outstanding public education and opportunities to students,” Thurmond said. “Their innovation and hard work have helped to ensure their students can heal, recover, and thrive—even in the toughest times.”

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