Arnold O. Beckman High School in the Tustin Unified School District has been named a 2019 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. This is the fourth time Beckman has received state distinguished honors; the school was also chosen in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
Beckman is among 25 Orange County middle and high schools and 162 secondary schools statewide to earn the state’s highest level of recognition as state distinguished school, according to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who announced the winners this week.
“I would like to commend these schools for fighting for a better future for our students, closing achievement gaps and improving academic performance,” Thurmond said. “Thanks to teachers, administrators, classified employees and parents working together, these schools meet the needs of all of their students, provide high-quality educational experiences and put kids on a pathway to great careers.”
Sponsored by the state Department of Education and California Casualty, the California Distinguished Schools program returned in 2018 following a three-year hiatus, during which time the state overhauled its accountability system.
Schools earn the prestigious distinction for demonstrating exceptional student performance for two consecutive school years — test scores, suspensions, and graduation rates are used as metrics — or for closing the achievement gap between two school years. This is the first year the new California Dashboard was used to determine recognition for secondary schools. The Dashboard uses multiple measures to assist in identifying strengths, challenges and areas needing improvement.
The Distinguished Schools award rotates each year between elementary schools and secondary schools. Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their “signature practices” with other schools and serve as mentors to other educators who want to replicate their work.
"Congratulations to Beckman High School for this amazing accomplishment,” TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin said. “I am very proud of the teachers, administrators, and staff for doing an outstanding job of preparing students to be ready and successful for college and career.”
Beckman High School, along with the other Orange County schools, will be honored on Friday, April 5, at the California Distinguished School awards ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. The school will also be recognized by the TUSD Board of Education at a future meeting.
“This recognition is truly based on an all-school effort,” Beckman Principal Dr. Donnie Rafter said. “Beckman’s hard-working teachers and staff continue to help our students achieve their goals and reach their full potential.”
For more information or to find a complete list of the 2019 California Distinguished Schools, go to: https://www.cde.ca.gov/nr/ne/yr19/yr19rel18.asp on the California Department of Education’s Website.