State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced this year’s California Gold Ribbon Schools Award recipients, and two Carlsbad Unified middle schools are among the honorees. Both Calavera Hills Middle School (CHMS) and Aviara Oaks Middle School have been chosen for this award.
Schools are selected for the award based on applications they submit describing their model programs supporting student success that can be replicated by other schools. Of over 2,600 public middle and high schools in California, and 477 that applied for the recognition, only 275 are being honored as Gold Ribbon Schools for 2017.
“At CHMS we believe in engaging the students in meaningful, relevant work,” said CHMS Principal Michael Ecker. “Project-based learning, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Design Thinking are a big part of what we do. But our true focus is on school culture. ‘Is there an adult on campus who cares about you?’ That’s the important question.”
“What makes our school special is teachers who aren’t afraid to jump in to try new things, students who love to learn, and families that provide tremendous support,” said AOMS Principal Bryan Brockett. “Our vision is to have a collaborative partnership among all of those stakeholders. We share the desire to see our students be successful academically, artistically, athletically, and socially.”
“I congratulate CHMS and AOMS for this accomplishment,”said Superintendent Benjamin Churchill. “These schools represent what is best in Carlsbad Unified—a challenging curriculum, a student-centered culture, and room for creative risk-taking and hands-on learning.”
Also, Calavera Hills Middle School, a federal Title I school, is recognized as an Academic Achieving School for its efforts to meet the educational needs of students living below the poverty line.
The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is temporarily suspended while California creates new assessment, accountability, and continuous improvement systems.
“These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. “I look forward to traveling the state to honor these schools and to help share the programs, methods, and techniques that are working.”
The 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools will be honored in May during a regional ceremony to be held in Costa Mesa.