Mupu School named a California Distinguished School

June 04, 2004
Santa Paula News
By Suzi Skutley Santa Paula TimesMupu School, along with five other Ventura County elementary schools, was among the 302 elementary schools statewide receiving the Distinguished School Award in a special ceremony May 21 at the Disneyland Hotel. Honored schools were presented with a plaque and special flag by State Superintendent Jack O’Connell.The annual awards are presented by the California Department of Education (CDE) to schools that meet criteria that “reinforce the priorities of the State Board of Education and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.” Overall criteria include:•High academic expectations for all students• Implementation of state-adopted standards• Visionary and collaborative leadership• Varied teaching strategies that provide challenging learning experiences for all students• A strong core curriculum in all required subject areas and State Board-adopted textbooks and core curriculum materials provided to all students• Academically competent and caring teachers and strong professional development focusing on teaching standards-based materials• Strong library media services and appropriate technology that support learning activities• Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for all students
• Learning support services including State Board-adopted intervention programs for students who are learning the English language, who are at risk, or who have physical or learning disabilities• Support for student learning through family involvement and partnerships with business and community groups• A safe school culture that supports inclusion of all students and promotes positive character traits such as caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness• Programs that foster wellness and healthy behaviors• A well-maintained learning environment that communicates the importance of education in our societyApplicants are evaluated by teams of local educators from across the state under the direction of the CDE, and the highest scoring schools are selected as statewide nominees. Statewide nominees must receive a site visit, conducted as a collaborative effort between the CDE and the county superintendent of schools, to validate the accuracy of the information presented in their applications.Mupu received a top score of 100% on their review. One of the reviewers wrote, “Visiting Mupu was one of the most uplifting experiences I’ve had in a very long time. It is so obvious that you all hold each child in the palm of your hands. No wonder your parents practically glow as they talk about the teachers and staff. You have created a magical place for students. Keep up the dream.”The opening lines of Mupu’s Distinguished School application read, “Certain people have a way of finding their way to Mupu. It’s a place that answers one’s yearning for belonging, for depth, for knowledge, for wisdom, and for the need to be a part of something important. Inside our small school’s gates is a protected world, a world of learning and growing.” Attending the awards ceremony from Mupu School were Principal Jeanine Gore, parent Glenda Learn, Board member Lisa Daniel, and teachers Deana Sherry, Michael Stacy and Sheryl Maniss.

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