The state on Thursday recognized Newport Elementary School as a 2012 California Distinguished School.
State Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced in a release that the Balboa Peninsula campus was one of 387 elementary schools to receive the honor for "innovative education programs that encourage students to learn and help close the achievement gap."
"The schools we are recognizing today demonstrate the incredible commitment of California's teachers, administrators and school employees to provide a world-class education to every student, in spite of the financial hardships facing our state and our schools," Torlakson said in the release. "Their dedication is inspiring, and I applaud and admire their passion and persistence."
This updates the story to include a quote from Newport Elementary School Principal Amy Nagy.
Newport Elementary was the only Newport-Mesa Unified school recognized this year.
“We are thrilled and honored to be recognized by the state of California as a Distinguished School,” Principal Amy Nagy wrote in an email late Thursday. “We’ve worked hard to implement systematic practices to improve student achievement. The two practices that were highlighted in our application were our response to intervention program and our writing workshops.”
In 2010, Newport Coast and Paularino were named Distinguished Schools, and in 2008, Eastbluff, Harbor View, Killybrooke, Andersen and Sonora received the title.
Schools must meet specific criteria just to apply for the recognition, which includes an application process detailing two of the school's signature practices with a county-led site review. Distinguished schools agree to share those practices and mentor other schools that wish to replicate them.
Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternating years. Middle and high schools will be honored next year.
Early College High School and Corona del Mar middle and high schools were recognized in 2009 and 2007, respectively.