CDE Invites Distinguished School Application

Kelly Pien, Staff Writer

In response to the California Department of Education’s (CDE) invitation, Campolindo applied for the California Distinguished School Award on December 10.

The CDE awards this distinction to “public schools that demonstrate a high level of success,” according to principal John Walker. More than 1 school can win the award every year; according to the CDE’s website, over 250 middle and high schools, including Campolindo, won the award in 2009.

To be invited to apply for the award, the schools must have improved their Academic Performance Index (API) scores from the previous year. The API scores are based on the students’ CAHSEE and California Standards Test (CST) scores. They are invited on a rotating basis, about every 3 years, according to vice-principal Sharon Bartlett. This year, over 100 schools were nominated.

Schools were required to submit a profile to the CDE on December 10. The profile describes who is on the staff, the makeup of the student body, what extracurricular activities students participate in, and what the students do after high school. They also highlight 2 signature practices, or “two things you’re proud of,” said Walker.

Campo’s signature practices this year are the academic support services and the “broad array of Advanced Placement and Career Technical Education courses.”  The academic support services include the freshman transition program, counseling department, and tutoring.

Walker and Bartlett took turns writing and editing the profile, as well as counselor Jenna Wrobel.

If the CDE approves of the profile, they will send a team of 4-5 educators to visit a school and verify the signature practices are in place as the school wrote in its profile, according to Walker. This team will recommend to the CDE that the school should or shouldn’t be given the award. According to Bartlett, this visit will happen sometime in March.

According to Walker, the schools will find out the results during the middle of next semester. The awards ceremony, where the winning schools are presented with plaques, is in late April to early May, according to the CDE website.

Since Campo has won the award 5 times (every time it has been nominated), Walker and Bartlett are hoping to win the award yet again. “[The award] adds to the credibility of Campolindo High School as an exceptional educational institution makes your transcript and your academic records more valuable,” said Bartlett.

“It’s a sense of pride for the staff and the students,” Walker said. “It will strengthen Campolindo’s reputation as a high school.”

That is, if Campo actually does win the award. “I’m optimistic, but it is not my decision,” said Walker.