The Santa Barbara County Education Office coordinates the local process of identifying and confirming schools applying for the California Distinguished School Award, a program designed by The California Department of Education (CDE) to honor some of California’s outstanding public schools. Schools that are selected demonstrate, with outstanding educational programs and practices resulting in exemplary achievements in implementing state standards in priority areas. The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor public schools while the California Distinguished Schools Program is on hiatus as California continues its transition to new assessment and accountability systems. Since the program’s inception, CDE has recognized 193 middle schools, 180 high schools, and 780 elementary schools as Gold Ribbon School Award recipients.
During the 2017-18 school year, CDE returns to the Distinguished Schools Award, having revised the criteria based upon the School Dashboard for qualification. Additional details can be found HERE.