Bird Rock Elementary earns California Distinguished Schools honor

Bird Rock Elemenentary School is one of four dozen elementary schools in San Diego County recognized Monday by the California Department of Education as “2010 California Distinguished Schools.”

“It is an honor to recognize the schools, and the students, parents, teachers and administrators who helped earn this most prestigious distinction,” said state Superintendent of Schools Jack O’Connell. In all there were 484 schools statewide recognized.

“The 2010 California Distinguished Schools have been selected because of their academic excellence and for narrowing achievement gaps,” he said. “These schools have persevered despite state budget cutbacks that have cut deeply into the budgets of local school districts.

“I encourage educators throughout our state to review the signature practices that distinguished schools are using to improve student achievement,” he added.

Most of the schools listed have a large number of students living in poverty and using English as a second language, according to the Department of Education.

To be eligible for consideration, schools have to demonstrate improvements based on Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress results.

Along with the qualitative measures, schools must show they’re narrowing achievement gaps between low-performing and high-performing students through the use of two “signature practices,” according to the Department of Education.

State officials visited each campus to audit the practices.

Elementary schools in 19 out of San Diego County’s 42 school districts are recognized on the 24th annual list, including 15 from San Diego Unified: Barnard Mandarin Chinese Magnet, Bay Park, Birney, Cadman, Chesterton, EB Scripps, Erickson, Foster, Jones, Loma Portal, Nye, Perry, Sequoia and Vista Grande.

  • Cajon Valley Union Elementary, two schools;
  • Carlsbad Unified, two schools;
  • Chula Vista Elementary, three schools;
  • Coronado Unified, one school;
  • Del Mar Union, one school;
  • Encinitas Union Elementary, two schools;
  • Fallbrook Union Elementary, one school;
  • La Mesa-Spring Valley, four schools;
  • Lakeside Union Elementary, one school;
  • National Elementary, two schools;
  • Oceanside Unified, one school;
  • Poway Unified, two schools;
  • Ramona Unified, one school;
  • San Marcos Unified, two schools;
  • San Ysidro Elementary, two schools;
  • Santee Elementary, one school;
  • South Bay Union Elementary, two schools; and
  • Vista Unified, three schools.