Contra Costa County education officials are celebrating the selection of 28 elementary schools throughout the county to the prestigious 2023 California Distinguished Schools award by the California Department of Education.

The California Department of Education explained these exceptional elementary schools are “illustrative of the hard work, dedication, and resilience shown by educators and schools across the state after communities struggled for multiple years with urgent effects to physical and mental health and unprecedented challenges to delivering education.”

Schools that applied for the award were eligible based on their performance and progress on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include assessment results, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and socioeconomic data.

“It is my pleasure to congratulate the principals, staff, and families of these 28 extraordinary schools,” said Lynn Mackey, Contra Costa County superintendent of schools. “Over the last three years, educators and support staff have overcome hurdles that no one could foresee. I commend all of you for your diligence and commitment to scholars in Contra Costa County.”

The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools for their excellent work in one of two categories: closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance. Elementary schools and middle/high schools are recognized in alternate years; therefore, awardees hold the title for two years.

The winners

The list of 28 recognized schools (in alphabetical order, according to school district) for 2023 are:

Canyon School District — Canyon Elementary

Lafayette School District — Happy Valley Elementary, Burton Valley Elementary, Lafayette Elementary

Moraga School District — Los Perales Elementary, Donald L. Rheem Elementary, Camino Pablo Elementary

Mt. Diablo Unified School District — Sequoia Elementary, Walnut Acres Elementary, Bancroft Elementary

Orinda Union School District — Del Rey Elementary, Glorietta Elementary, Sleepy Hollow Elementary, Wagner Ranch Elementary

San Ramon Valley Unified School District — Vista Grande Elementary, Neil A. Armstrong Elementary, Alamo Elementary, Greenbrook Elementary, Live Oak Elementary, Hidden Hills Elementary, Sycamore Valley Elementary, John Baldwin Elementary, Walt Disney Elementary

Walnut Creek School District — Buena Vista Elementary, Parkmead Elementary, Tice Creek

West Contra Costa Unified School District — Kensington Elementary, Madera Elementary