Tiny Avalon Junior and Senior High School, which serves mostly low-income students on Santa Catalina Island, has received one of the state's top educational awards.
The school, which has an enrollment of 175, was named a distinguished school by the state Department of Education for its academic improvement.
State evaluators found that the number of students taking advanced courses, such as high-level mathematics and chemistry, has increased significantly in the last four years, that graduation requirements have been toughened and that student scores on California Assessment Program tests have improved.
Avalon, which is part of the Long Beach Unified School District, was one of four Southeast-area schools to receive the state distinguished-school awards for 1989. The other winners are Whitney High School, Haskell Junior High School and La Serna High School of the Whittier Union High School District.