De Anza High wins Gold Ribbon award for academic success


De Anza High is one of 180 high schools in California to have won a Gold Ribbon Schools Award, a new statewide honor recognizing innovative academic achievement, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced this week.

De Anza’s nearly 5-percent increase in graduation rate and nearly 10-percent reduction in its dropout rate in recent years is a testament to the school’s significant improvements, according to the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

“We are proud of the progress that our students and staff at De Anza have made,” Board President Todd Groves said in a statement. “This award recognizes their hard work and reinforces the investments we have made in that school and that community.”

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was recently created to replace the California Distinguished Schools Program, which has been placed on hold while the state creates new assessment and accountability systems.

The award, which recognizes middle and high schools this year and elementary schools in 2016, honors schools that have adopted standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies, the district said.

“These schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching,” Torlakson said. “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right—embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.”

De Anza will be recognized later this month at a regional awards ceremony in San Francisco.