Manzanita passed a bond issue to finance a new, much needed gymnasium with additional rooms for classes. Mr. Roberts became the Superintendent/Principal in 2001.
Several changes have occured over the past 10 years, both academically and physically.
The implementation of, measurement of and support towards the California State standards became the focus academically. This has resulted in back to back California Distinguished School Awards and five (5) consecutive Title I Academic Acievemtn Awards.
Manzanita Elementary Selected As Top 2004 and 2008 California Distinguished School
Each year, the California School Recognition Program identifies and honors the state's most exemplary and inspiring public schools. Approximately five percent of California's public schools are selected each year, and no fewer than 40 counties are typically represented.
In May of 2004 and 2008, Manzanita Elementary School was selected as a California Distinguished School. It 2004 it was the only Butte County school to be selected in the past four year since the rigorous State standards have been adopted and high academic scores were necessary to qualify schools as a Distinguished School.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell announced that of the 5,500 California elementary schools only 302 have been selected as 2004 California Distinguished Schools. "The California schools that are being recognized as Distinguished Schools are the best of the best."
The prestigious award is considered the state's predominant recognition of a school's total educational program, including high expectations for all its students, the implementation of state-adopted standards, and visionary and collaborative leadership.
To be selected for recognition, schools participate in a rigorously competitive selection process conducted by the California Department of Education (CDE). The criteria for school selection focuses on all areas of the school's educational program so that those selected are strong, well-rounded community schools. 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 focused 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 society
Bob Binoit, Assistant Superintendent, Butte County Schools led the State validation team to Manzanita and wrote:
If ever the phrase "It takes a whole village to raise a child" applied to a school, it is to ManzanitaElementary School. Interviews with teachers, a random student group, student council, parents, and board members produced a remarkably strong and consistent view of the school. First, it is a kind, caring and supportive "family. The principal, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and students themselves work for an inclusive atmosphere of all grade levels and ethnicities with no discrimination against newcomers. Besides having a conducive environment, there is an attitude of high academic expectations that permeates the school. When student council was asked how they could improve their school - they were stumped. Finally, Erica said, "If everyone came to school each day prepared to learn and work hard, that would make us a better school."
"Distinguished schools are models of excellence," State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell said. "These schools have high expectations for their students and are holding themselves accountable for progress. By embracing rigorous standards and providing targeted support, they are a testament to what can be accomplished in public education and an affirmation that staying focused and on track is a formula for success."
Manzanita is sending six schoolwide representatives to be honored May 21 at an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.
Congratulations to the Manzanita students, staff, parents, community and school board!
Over the past eleven years, the Academic Performance Indicator (API) has risen and is one of the highest in Northern California.
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