Sonoma County Office of Education

Two schools named Distinguished Schools

04/30/2014 - County Superintendent Steve Herrington extended his congratulations to two Sonoma County elementary schools that were named California Distinguished Schools today: Austin Creek School in Rincon Valley Union School District and Cinnabar Charter School in Petaluma’s Cinnabar School District.

This is the first time that Cinnabar has earned Distinguished School status. Austin Creek previously received this honor in 2010.

These two Sonoma County schools were among 424 public elementary schools named California Distinguished Schools for 2014. This program honors schools that demonstrate innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement and that have made progress narrowing the achievement gap. It recognizes elementary and secondary schools in alternate years.

Schools are identified for Distinguished School eligibility based on a variety of accountability criteria. In submitting their award applications, the schools must show evidence that they are providing all students with a rigorous education. The application process requires in-depth descriptions of two “signature practices” that directly relate to student success. Additional data about the implementation of these practices is collected and verified during a site visit by a team of external evaluators.

“This year, less than eight percent of California elementary schools met the demanding requirements to earn the prestigious Distinguished School award,” said Dr. Herrington. “Austin Creek and Cinnabar Charter should be proud to be in this elite group. I commend the principals, teachers, and support staff of these fine schools.”

Seventy-nine Sonoma County schools have been named Distinguished Schools since the program’s inception in 1986, including 34 schools that have earned the honor more than once.

“This is clear evidence of the high quality of education in our county,” said Dr. Herrington. The schools will be recognized locally at the Sonoma County Board of Education meeting on June 5.