Humboldt County Office of Education: Four Distinguished Schools Recognized in Humboldt County

Four Distinguished Schools Recognized in Humboldt County

Four Distinguished Schools Recognized in Humboldt County

(Sacramento, CA) — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced that more than 350 elementary schools have been selected for the prestigious 2023 California Distinguished Schools Program. The award program recognizes schools for their excellent work in either closing the achievement gap or achieving exceptional student performance. This year, the award is being given to elementary schools, and the winners will hold the title for two years.

Four Humboldt County schools have been recognized in this year’s California Distinguished Schools Program. They are Union Street Charter School, Redwood Preparatory Charter School, Freshwater Elementary School, and Jacoby Creek Elementary School.

“In addition to our two traditional schools, Arcata Elementary and Sunny Brae Middle, the Arcata School District authorizes four successful, independent charter schools, one of which is Union Street,” said Luke Biesecker, Superintendent of the Arcata School District. “We recently went through the charter school renewal process with Union Street, and I am not surprised to see them being recognized as a California Distinguished School. I am really excited for Rea and the Union Street staff, students and families—they do exceptional work.”

“Union Street Charter is proud of its team and its teamwork approach,” said Rea Erickson, Director of Union Street Charter School. “Teachers, instructional aides, support staff, administrators, and the board work together with students and their families to develop resilience, personal agency, a sense of community and a lifelong love of learning in their students. Everyone works hard to support one another in this challenging, worthy endeavor.”

“The students, staff and families at Redwood Prep are so proud to be recognized by the state as a California Distinguished School,” said Krista Croteau, Director of Redwood Preparatory Charter School. “This is especially poignant after the challenges we’ve all experienced over the last few years. We attribute the ability to maintain student achievement to the strength of our school community. Positive relationships, trust and commitment served as resiliency factors to help us stay engaged with the educational process, despite a multitude of other stressors.”

Fortuna Elementary School Superintendent added, “On behalf of the governing board of the Fortuna Elementary School District, I would like to extend our sincere congratulations to Redwood Prep’s Director, Krista Croteau, the school’s entire teaching staff, and all support personnel for their hard work and dedication to earn the designation as a California Distinguished School.  This award is an incredible honor that I am confident Redwood Prep’s students and families are very proud of, and all in the district join them in celebrating this accomplishment.  In addition, we feel very fortunate to have Redwood Prep join previously recognized schools, Ambrosini Elementary, Walker Elementary, and Toddy Thomas Middle School, as California Distinguished Schools within the Fortuna Elementary School District.  Congratulations, Redwood Prep!”

“I am very proud of our students and staff that have worked extremely hard to earn this recognition,” said Si Talty, Superintendent of the Freshwater School District and Freshwater Elementary School. “The Freshwater School community has continued to support us even as we worked through the challenges of distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have shown that we are resilient, and this award is evidence of the perseverance shown by our students, staff, and families. I am grateful to be a part of the incredible team at Freshwater School.”

“Jacoby Creek School is so proud and honored to receive this recognition,” said Melanie Nannizzi, Superintendent and principal of Jacoby Creek Elementary School. “Congratulations to the students, staff, parents and Jacoby Creek School community for all your hard work.”

The California Distinguished Schools program returned this year after the COVID-19 pandemic caused a temporary suspension of state and local student data reporting. The California Department of Education (CDE) uses multiple measures to identify eligible schools based on their performance on state indicators as reported through the 2022 California School Dashboard. This includes analyzing assessment results, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and socioeconomic data.