Press Release: Spotlight Shines on Five Palo Alto Unified Schools
Palo Alto, CA – After an award-program hiatus due to the recent pandemic, the California Department of Education is shining light on five Palo Alto Unified Schools. This 2023 exceptional honor is saluting Juana Briones Elementary, El Carmelo Elementary, Ohlone Elementary, Nixon Elementary, and Palo Verde Elementary for the on-going delivery of education excellence through quality dedication and continuous improvement toward student advancement.
This statewide honor shows that districtwide work is having an impact on progress. Principal Annora Lee of Palo Verde says, “This honor is a collective effort of all teachers and staff. We are a strong district, and our ‘Every Student Reads Initiative’ is making a difference.”
The California Distinguished Schools program focuses on one of two categories: closing the achievement gap or achieving exceptional performance (State Department of Education). Kathryn Bimpson, Briones principal, responds with excitement. “My Reading Specialist Hillary Mark must be recognized for providing intensive interventions. She works collaboratively with teachers, specialists, and therapists.” Bimpson believes this concentrated staff effort is why reading scores are improving. “We create opportunities for our educators to come together often and in organic ways,” Bimpson adds.
PAUSD honorees will boast this honor for two years. Each of the five recipients is eligible to become a National Association of Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished Awardee. Elsa Chen, principal at Ohlone Elementary concludes that “This award recognizes hard work, is appreciated, and it shows that we are not only focusing on each child’s needs, but we are also moving our students from where they are to a better place each day.”