Three Simi Valley Unified School District schools were named California Gold Ribbon Award Schools today by the California Department of Education. There were only eight schools in Ventura County to receive the award this year.
Santa Susana High School, Sinaloa Middle School and Valley View Middle School have been recognized for making “gains in implementing academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education,” according to the CDE.
“We are very proud of our schools that received this prestigious award,” said Dr. Jason Peplinski, district superintendent. “They join an exclusive list of schools in California to receive the state’s Gold Ribbon School Award.”
The California Gold Ribbon Award temporarily replaces the California Distinguished Schools award. As the state is not testing and gathering Academic Performance Index (API) data, and the Distinguished Schools award is based on API information, the Gold Ribbon Award was created to recognize outstanding schools on other criteria. This year, middle and high schools were invited to apply. Next year, elementary schools will be considered.
Altogether, 193 middle schools and 180 high schools received the honor this year.
“These schools are academically successful, vibrant and innovative centers of learning and teaching,” State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson said. “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right–embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching and creating a positive school environment.”
Santa Susana High School is a magnet school specializing in technology, the performing arts and rigorous academics. Long recognized for its excellent programs, it was named a California Demonstration School last year. This designation makes Santa Susana a model school upon which other California schools can use to develop similar programs. Santa Susana’s principal is Wendy Mayea.
Sinaloa Middle School was named a School to Watch last year for being a “high performing middle school model.” The school has an emphasis on leadership and is working on obtaining its International Baccalaureate Middle Years designation in partnership with Royal High School.
“It navigates that what we do here on a day-in, day-out basis is the right thing. They came to validate our C.H.A.M.P. program and our intervention program,” Mrs. Janke said. “They said we’re right on and doing a great job.”
The largest of Simi Valley’s three middle schools, Valley View Middle School is known for its excellent academic success, popular music programs and its growing relationship with Simi Valley High School’s medical and health science programs. Valley View’s principal is Michael Hall.