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Jefferson Distinguished School

Distinguished LogoJefferson School has been designated a California Distinguished School according to an announcement made by state education officials on Monday, April 2nd. 

Part of the Hawthorne School District, the K-5 school was one of only 79 public elementary schools in Los Angeles County that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson granted Distinguished School status to in 2018.

With just over 550 students, Jefferson maintains a rich instructional program grounded in the core subjects of reading, mathematics, science, and social studies, but with a heavy integration of arts education.  Over 90% of the students attending the school qualify to receive either free or reduced lunch and over 30% are designated as being English learners. 

“We are so proud of the programs and services that we offer for our students here at Jefferson, and we are honored to see their hard work, as well as the efforts of our staff and families, being recognized at such a high level,” said Jefferson’s principal, Josh Godin.

District Superintendent Dr. Helen Morgan also shared her excitement over the recent award.  “I want to congratulate the entire Jefferson community on their commitment to ever-increasing academic gains and their dedication to maintaining a safe and supportive school environment where students can truly excel.  Jefferson serves as a model of what can be accomplished through strategic, student-focused efforts.”

In February, the California Department of Education identified schools that had met the criteria to apply for the Distinguished Schools designation.  Applications were due in early March and state officials then selected 287 as being Distinguished Schools for 2018.  Officials singled out the campuses for putting into practice “outstanding educational programs that help California students realize their potential and put them on the path to achieve their dreams,” Torlakson said in a news release.

“Every day at these schools, teachers, administrators and classified employees, working with parents, apply their dedication, creativity and talents toward providing a great education for all their students,” he said.

Students at Distinguished Schools have performed well on the indicators of progress included in the California School Dashboard, an annual assessment tool that provides information on test scores, suspension rates and English-learner achievement.

The Distinguished Schools program recognizes elementary schools in one year and then middle and high schools in alternate years, allowing schools to apply once every two years.  The program had been suspended for the last three years, with the California Gold Ribbon Schools program taking its place while the state’s assessment and accountability systems were undergoing significant revisions.  This year’s list of awardees marks the return of the California Distinguished Schools program.