Nine SF elementary schools named 2014 California Distinguished Schools 

For the second time nine elementary schools in The City have been named California Distinguished Schools in a given year, district officials announced Wednesday.

Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila, Clarendon Elementary, Grattan Elementary, Gordon J. Lau Elementary, McKinley Elementary, Sunnyside Elementary, West Portal Elementary, and Lawton and Claire Lilienthal Alternative schools were among 424 public elementary schools designated as Distinguished Schools for 2014, according to the California Department of Education.

All but two of the schools, Clarendon and Lawton, are receiving the distinction for the first time. Schools hold the distinction for four years.

Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. In 2012 nine elementary schools in the San Francisco Unified School District were also named Distinguished Schools. Previously no more than six elementary schools in The City received the title in a given year since the program’s inception in 1986.

The California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes schools that have made progress in closing the academic achievement gap. Schools must meet a variety of criteria, including accountability measures, to apply for Distinguished School honors.

“I am very proud of these award-winning schools for the incredible work they do every day,” Superintendent Richard Carranza said in a statement. “Receipt of this recognition represents not only the great learning that is happening for our students but also the initiative each of these schools has taken to document and share their practices with others.”

Chinese Immersion School at DeAvila also received an Arts Exemplary Program award after undergoing a separate application process, district officials said.

About The Author

Laura Dudnick

Laura Dudnick, a Bay Area native, covers education and planning for The San Francisco Examiner. She previously worked as a senior local editor for, and as the San Mateo County bureau reporter and weekend editor for Bay City News Service.
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