California Distinguished School Award


Have you ever wondered about recognition schools get periodically?  That’s why the California Distinguished School Award (CDSA) is an award that is given to a few schools each year.  Each school can apply for the CDSA award every two years, this year Herman won due to our outstanding work both in and out of the classroom.  Now we continue to work to keep that honor and strive for more awards and higher recognition.

You may be wondering why this award is important.  It’s important because we must understand the importance of education in America for the future of our country.  Without education we could never be the powerful nation we are today, and even though they’re not given much recognition, teachers are crucial to this process.  So when we discuss education we should also be awarding the students, teachers, and other staff who work hard to help kids excel and make a better future for themselves.

To learn more about the award and the process of selection I interviewed Ms. Meusel, the principal of Herman and AdVENTURE Intermediate.  According to her, “Every two years they go through all middle schools and high schools, and then every other year they look at the elementary schools.” She also said that “Every two years they look at the top high schools and middle schools in the state of California that continually show progress on the smarter balanced assessments.  You have to show two years of growth on your test scores, and then you also have to show that your closing the achievement gap between all the ethnic groups of students. They look at our data from our white students, Asian students, black students, hispanic students and other students.” However she said that “They don’t look at discipline, they just look at test scores.”  But she did say that “This is a huge award, out of Santa Clara county there were only twenty schools that qualified, and we were one of the only ten junior highs that qualified. It’s a pretty big honor and they haven’t had the award in the last five years because of the change in the testing format.” Ms. Meusel also went on to say that “We usually grow anywhere from two to ten percent depending on grade levels.”

Overall the award and recognition is well deserved.  We must encourage these awards and recognition for better educations and better futures.  It may seem like a trivial thing but it really matters for school to gain recognition of their hard work.