PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Anne Silavs, Superintendent
714.220.6910
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DECEMBER 18, 2019
Three Cypress Elementary Schools Receive State’s Highest Honor

The Cypress School District is proud to announce that Clara J. King, Margaret Landell, and Steve Luther Elementary Schools have been named 2020 California Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that 323 elementary schools across the state have been recognized for closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance.

These Cypress elementary schools were among only 35 in Orange County eligible to apply for the prestigious award. Superintendent Anne Silavs acknowledged that it is a tremendous honor to be recognized. “We are extremely proud of the great things happening in our schools and their impact on student success. There should be more opportunities to shine a light on the excellence in public education,” she said.

In order to receive the award, eligible elementary schools were required to submit an application describing a model school program or practice that has contributed to student success. 

Social/emotional learning is a model school program at King and a fundamental building block for student achievement. “Our staff is committed to giving students the tools they need to develop self-control, self-esteem, and emotional awareness. As a result of our efforts, King kids reach their educational goals and are able to enjoy healthy relationships – both now and in the future,” said Principal Jacki Teschke.

Staff at Landell attribute student success to their schoolwide focus on interdisciplinary literacy, a practice in which students develop and apply their reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills in all school subject areas. “We believe that in order to prepare our students to be 21st century leaders, we must teach them to connect their learning across content areas and to the world around them,” noted Principal Kim Benaraw.

Inclusive school practices are the hallmark of the educational program at Luther, where the staff is committed to meeting individual student needs. “We believe all students should have the opportunity to access a rigorous academic program in an inclusive educational environment. At Luther, we provide our students with a wide range of academic, social, and behavioral supports to ensure each student’s success,” said Principal Denine Kelly.

All three schools will be honored at the California School Recognition Program Awards Ceremony on February 10, 2020, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.