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The Lafayette School District is proud to announce that Burton Valley Elementary School has been named a California Distinguished School for 2020 by the California Department of Education. 

Burton Valley Elementary was one of only five elementary schools in Contra Costa County to receive the award, which was given to 323 elementary schools across the state. 

The Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools based on performance and progress on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate. Distinguished School awardees represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention. 

“These outstanding schools don’t just educate students; they also provide the young people of California the tools they need to be successful after graduation,” said State Superintendent for Education Tony Thurmond. “Thanks go to all the staff at these schools—teachers, administrators, classified employees—and parents, who are working together to provide high-quality educational experiences for all of their students.”

“I am proud of our students, parents, teachers, and staff who demonstrate that a distinguished school is truly a community effort,” said Burton Valley Principal Meredith Dolley. “We have aimed to create an excellent learning environment where we meet each day with kindness and inclusivity.  It is an honor to be recognized for the hard work we have all put in to achieve this together.” 

Lafayette School District Superintendent Richard Whitmore agreed. “Congratulations to Burton Valley Elementary, to Meredith, and to the outstanding team of educators and support staff, for this award and for the many contributions they make to our school community. They are a shining example of our hallmarks - strong academics in a student-centered climate, with families and teachers working together every day for our children,” Whitmore said. “All residents of Lafayette should be proud of and feel a part of this honor.”

Burton Valley Elementary, along with the other California Distinguished Schools, will be honored on February 10, 2020, during an awards ceremony at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. 

The California Department of Education (CDE) released test score results from the 2018 Smarter Balanced assessments of math and English language arts on October 9th. This was the fourth year of testing based on the Common Core State Standards, using assessments created with input from several states in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). These tests form part of the state's California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, or CAASPP.   Student scores are categorized into four achievement levels that indicate whether a student has exceeded, met, nearly met, or did not meet the standard in grades 3-8 and 11.

We are pleased that students in the Lafayette School District tested far above the state and county average. Of the third through eighth grade students tested, 84% of our students met or exceeded standards in English Language Arts (ELA), and 83% met that same benchmark in mathematics. Our scores place us among the top of all California school districts in both ELA and math.

According to the publication, EdSource, the Lafayette School District is ranked 27th in the state out of 1,000 school districts in ELA and 19th in the state in the area of mathematics.  We have many reasons to celebrate and honor the outstanding work being done by teachers, administrators, and support staff throughout our district. Continued high test scores do not happen by accident. They reflect the commitment, hard work, and dedication to classroom instruction that is of the very highest quality.

Mary Maddux, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction, presented an overview of the District’s CAASPP results to the Governing Board at the October 16th regular Board meeting. For a comprehensive overview of statewide CAASPP scores click here.