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Saturday, April 21, 2007

2 SCV campuses named Distinguished Schools


SANTA CLARITA - Golden Valley High School and Arroyo Seco Junior High were honored Monday as two of the top campuses in the state.

The two were named among 171 California Distinguished Schools, the second time for Arroyo Seco and the first for three-year-old Golden Valley.

"I couldn't be happier," Golden Valley Principal Jacque Snyder said. "It's tough to open a school, and everyone has just worked so hard. These teachers have put in more than 100 percent. The kids are the greatest. ... They're just thrilled."

In applying for the award, a Golden Valley team focused on these features: the campus family center that works with parents and children not familiar with the school system; the block schedule that mimics college scheduling with longer courses meeting fewer times a week; and an instruction program aimed at preparing students for college.

Arroyo Seco Principal Rhondi Durand credited a joint effort by teachers, staffers, parents and students. In their application for the award, school officials focused on teacher collaboration, writing projects and student-led conferences, in which eighth-graders showcase highlights of special projects.

Arroyo Seco was honored in 1999 as a California Distinguished School - when Snyder was principal there. "I followed her," Durand said. "She had a well-oiled machine."
The Distinguished School designations help bolster the Santa Clarita Valley's reputation for good schools.

"I think that one of reasons people move to the Santa Clarita Valley is the schools," Durand said. "They do inquire - `We're moving to the area and want to know about the schools. ...' All the schools here are wonderful; they're all deserving. We're really proud we were chosen."
The state honored 76 middle schools and 95 high schools as exemplary campuses, representing 7 percent of California's 2,400 middle and high schools.

"These middle and high schools have shown they are able to meet the challenge of providing their students with the kind of rigorous education that is essential to their future success in the classroom and the workplace," state Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell said in a news release.

O'Connell called each school Monday with the news of its award. The schools will be honored May 18 in an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel.

A panel of five visited Arroyo Seco earlier this year and met with parents and a group of students who escorted them about campus.

"My student escorts were so wonderful," Durand said. "They bragged and bragged about their school."

1 Comments:

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