Two Rivers Elementary Named Distinguished School

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State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson on Wednesday announced Two Rivers Elementary School in Natomas has been selected one of 424 California elementary schools named a 2014 California Distinguished School.

“The award is a tribute to Two Rivers’ staff, students, principal, parents and community who have worked so hard to close the achievement gap while providing educational excellence to all students, which are yardsticks the state uses to measure distinguished schools,” read a statement released by Natomas Unified superintendent Chris Evans. “It truly has been a team effort at Two Rivers.”

Two Rivers Elementary is one of six Sacramento County schools being recognized for innovative education programs that encourage students to learn and help close the achievement gap. The south Natomas school joins three other Natomas Unified campuses which have won the prestigious honor in years past – Heron, Witter Ranch Elementary and Natomas Charter.

“I applaud these strong, thriving schools that are making such impressive strides in preparing their students for continued success,” Torlakson said. “This award is well-deserved by these school communities for their enduring dedication to high standards, hard work, and unwavering support.”

To apply for Distinguished School honors schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are found eligible, the California Department of Education invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.

The application process consists of a written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the school’s signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process focused on the implementation of those signature practices. Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with – and mentor – other schools.

Earlier in the 2013-14 school year, Two Rivers Elementary celebrated a 67-point boost in its Academic Performance Index. Two Rivers Elementary has also offered more than a dozen free after-school classes ranging from creative writing to dance, choir, art, chess, flag football and jogging to hundreds of students. And teachers at Two Rivers Elementary collaborate to provide students who need it additional academic support as part of a daily 30-minute “Whatever I Need” – or WIN -program.

“We applaud Two Rivers and its family of caring staff and parents,” Evans’ statement read. “We’re proud of what you’ve done for kids.”

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