State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that 772 elementary schools are being honored under the Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program

“These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st century college and careers,” Torlakson said. “California teachers are developing an education model for the nation, training the students of today to be the problem-solvers, inventors, and pioneers of tomorrow.”

Mariposa Elementary School and Woodland Elementary School both received the honor of being named California Gold Ribbon Schools.

Superintendent Robin Hopper was pleased to have received the awards, writing in an email to the Mariposa Gazette, “We are so pleased with the outstanding educational programs that all of our schools in Mariposa County provide our students. Mariposa Elementary and Woodland Elementary exemplify the excellence in our school system by being selected as Gold Ribbon Schools; two of only 772 schools in the entire state of California.”

Hopper said the schools in Mariposa have a “long history” of being recognized as award-winning schools with their “excellent academic programs and high levels of student achievement.”

“We are excited to be able to carry on this tradition, achieving this new award by demonstrating the programs we have in place are rigorous, aligned with the transition to the digital age of teaching and learning and supportive of all students’ various needs,” Hopper added. “I think it’s a true testimony to the quality of our schools, our staff, students, parents and our community, that in our small county we have two award-winning schools. That is an amazing feat.”

The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems. Nearly 6,000 elementary schools were eligible to apply this year.

Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies. The award recognized middle and high schools last year.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.