Almanac

Schools - April 28, 2010

Las Lomitas, Ormondale named distinguished schools

by Renee Batti

Ormondale School in Portola Valley and Las Lomitas School in Atherton have made the list of California Distinguished Schools for 2010 — the fifth such honor for Ormondale and the fourth for Las Lomitas.

The two schools were among 484 public elementary schools in the state to receive the honor, awarded by the California Department of Education based on the schools' "academic excellence and for narrowing achievement gaps," according to a written statement from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

"These schools have persevered despite state budget cutbacks that have cut deeply into the budgets of local school districts," he said.

Schools were identified for eligibility for the award based on the results of their Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress tests, according to a press release from the state Department of Education. The program examines applications that were voluntarily submitted by schools across the state.

"All applicants underwent a stringent selection process" conducted by the Department of Education, the press release said.

In applying for the honor, schools agree to "share their signature practices with other schools and serve as a mentor to other educators who want to replicate the work," according to the release.

Ormondale, whose principal is Jennifer Warren, was previously named a distinguished school in 1987, 1997, 2000, and 2006, according to the school.

Las Lomitas, whose principal Gerald Traynor is retiring in June, was previously honored in 1997, 2002, and 2006, according to the school.

Both schools serve children in kindergarten through third grade.

Winners of the distinguished schools award will be honored June 4 during a ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

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