SPHS advances toward receiving the Gold Ribbon award

Photo by Thomas Forman

SPHS has advanced in the process of assessment for the Gold Ribbon award, putting the school closer to receiving the state-recognized accolade.

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Program visited SPHS Tuesday afternoon to determine whether SPHS’ award finalist status could be recommended to state superintendent Tom Torlakson as a Gold Ribbon School recipient. The program-representative committee verified practices and student outcomes.

A three-person committee conducted a walkthrough of SPHS during class Tuesday, primarily surveying the chosen model practice identified on the school’s Gold Ribbon application: post-secondary pathways. Committee members traveled from classroom to classroom, viewing career preparation programs such as internships, CTSO’s(Career Technical Student Organization) like SkillsUSA, CTE(Career Technical Education) and PLTW(Project Lead The Way) classes. 15-minute time blocks were allotted in each room for student-led presentations from Bio Med, Sports Medicine, Screen Printing, and the three Virtual Business teams.

The committee concluded the day’s events with a report to the school community in the SPHS library. Committee member Mr. Del Cueto emphasized that he couldn’t see any reason why superintendent Tom Torlakson wouldn’t approve the committee’s recommendation of SPHS to receive the award in upcoming months.

“When we showed our members to the deliberation room, we actually thought they might use about an hour, but they indicated that they already had their minds made up. They already felt very confident that what they had heard and what they had seen was matched with our application,” Principal Janet Anderson said. “So they were brief when they reported, saying they saw wonderful things and that they loved our students. They were so impressed.”

The California Gold Ribbon Schools program is succeeding the traditional California Distinguished Schools program in the California Department of Education’s recognition of outstanding public schools. Both programs have placed tremendous value on effective State Board policies at district levels. Originally, the Distinguished Schools Program honored schools on student outcomes, which were mainly measured from standardized test scores. However, as the state’s new accountability system seeks to be more inclusive of all California students; the program has evolved into Gold Ribbon Schools, which takes factors such as diversity into account. The Gold Ribbon has previously honored Arroyo Vista and Monterey Hills Elementary. This year, it has identified SPHS and SPMS as finalists for the award in its first middle/high school cycle.

If honored as a California Gold Ribbon School, SPHS will receive a seal from the CDE similar to the preceding California Distinguished School symbol. The notification of all superintendent-approved schools will be next month.


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