Kudos: NP3 Is A Distinguished School

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson this week announced Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep is a 2011 California Distinguished School.
The Natomas charter high school is one of 97 exemplary California public middle and high schools selected for the prestigious awards program. NP3 is one of 48 high schools recognized and the only high school in Sacramento County.

“These schools are being recognized for attaining high levels of performance and sustained growth, and for making significant progress in closing the academic achievement gap,” Torlakson said. “Becoming a Distinguished School is a direct reflection of the dedication, hard work, and vision of each school’s education community. They have succeeded despite a bleak economic environment and have endeavored to maintain their momentum and focus.”

The California School Recognition Program is now in its 25th year and honors the state’s most exemplary and inspiring public schools. Schools earning the Distinguished School title this year agree to share their Signature Practices with other schools and serve as mentors to other educators who want to replicate their work.


  1. Anonymous says

    Well done NP3! But to call the school a “public school” is misleading. NP3 Charter (like Natomas Charter) is not open to every public kid–despite marketing itself as such. NP3 chooses their students through an intricate application process–which, in large part allows them to filter OUT potentially troublesome or no-academic-minded students and filter IN good students (who also have academic-minded parents…parents who are traditionally college educated and who must commit to volunteering at the school). The real “public”high schools in the area (NHS and IHS) do not and cannot use such a filter without fear of legal retribution. These schools must accept all—not handpick their students (who, by the way, are disenrolled and dropped off at NHS or IHS if they or their parents can’t handle the requirements—coincidentally, right before STAR testing).

    There are, however, little NP3 schools at NHS and IHS–they are called the Honors and AP programs. And if you gather these kids together and start a school, it is sure to be “distinguished”.

    Charter petition anyone?

  2. Anonymous says

    I was much more impressed with Witter Ranch Elementary School’s award, because they are a regular neighborhood school with about 1000students from all walks of life, and does not need a parent to complete an application. The teachers work contractual hours and the class sizes are typical of many other public schools. And finally, the “administrator” doesn’t profit from it’s operation. Just sayin’

  3. Tom Rutten says

    I feel the need to respond to the 2 anonymous comments and the misinformation contained in each.

    The application process is less complex than enrolling a student in a NUSD school for the 1st time. It asks for name, grade level, address, phone number, guardians, the required information on ethnicity and a required home language survey. The entire registration/application form takes less than 2 minutes to complete. That is all that is required. NP3 does not screen applicants by past academic performance or past behavior. In terms of ethnicity and socio-economics, the NP3 student body is a mirror of NUSD. NP3 parents are not required to volunteer at the school but parents are welcomed and encouraged to be active. As far as the allegation of students being “disenrolled” prior to testing, it is blatantly false. NP3 has never dumped students prior to testing. NP3 is completing STAR testing this week and has not had a student leave in months.

    In response to the 2nd comment, NP3 teachers work beyond their contract serving the students of Natomas and until 3 years ago, were compensated at a higher rate than NUSD teachers. Three years ago all NP3 teachers, administrators and staff voluntarily took a pay freeze because of the State budget. NP3 class sizes are smaller and can be because money is budgeted to focus on the classroom. As for the “administrator” profiting from the operation, that is laughable. The 13 furlough days in his contract for next year can serve as proof.

    It saddens me that people would take the a great student and school accomplishment to use as an opportunity to bash and spread misinformation. If you would like to visit, NP3 is a “Public School” serving the families of Natomas, you are welcome any time.

    Tom Rutten
    Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep

  4. Well said Tom, I was going to respond, but you said all that needed to be said.

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