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Three MDUSD elementary schools named California Distinguished Schools!
Posted 1/19/23

CA Distinguished Schools

The Mt. Diablo Unified School District is proud that three District Schools have been named 2023 California Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education (CDE): Bancroft and Walnut Acres elementary schools in Walnut Creek and Sequoia Elementary in Pleasant Hill!

"Since its inception in 1985, the California Distinguished Schools Award remains one of the important ways to celebrate exceptional schools, districts, teachers, and classified employees for their innovation, talent, and success in supporting students," according to the CDE news release.

The CDE identified 356 elementary schools statewide for this honor, based on their performance on state indicators on the 2022 California School Dashboard including assessment results, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and socioeconomic data.
Dashboard data for Bancroft is here. Sequoia's Dashboard is here. And the Walnut Acres Dashboard is here.

Principals at all three schools are thrilled about the awards and credit their staffs, students and families for the recognition.


"I am so excited that Bancroft Elementary School has been honored as a 2023 California Distinguished School," said Principal Cindy Dunn. "Bancroft is not only a fabulous neighborhood school, but also houses a wonderful Two-Way Dual Immersion Spanish program. I am very proud of the entire Bancroft Bobcat community; staff, students, and parents. Their attention to growth mindset, always doing their best, and reaching for the stars is exemplified in the receiving of this prestigious award. Bancroft Bobcats continue to shine in words and actions."


Sequoia Elementary is a District School of Choice open to students who live in MDUSD boundaries. "I am so pleased that Sequoia Elementary has once again been honored with a Distinguished School award from the  California Department of Education," Principal  Becky Vichiquis said. "As an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, we strive to nurture not only our students' outstanding academic achievements and personal wellness, but also confidence in themselves as changemakers and global citizens. We do this through a rigorous, sequential, academic curriculum infused with explicit curricular-based opportunities to explore and celebrate our students' unique cultural identities. We truly appreciate this recognition of our staff and students' shared vision and diligent work to bring about a bright future for our world and everyone in it!"


Walnut Acres Elementary Principal Lauren Ashton said: "This award/recognition is a result of the collective tireless work done by WAES teachers, staff, and parent community to provide our students with a rigorous, supportive, dynamic and nurturing learning environment! These results don’t just happen; they are hard-earned by our teachers in the classroom, parents in the home, and the incredible staff each and every day. Thank you to our teachers and school community who together, with hard work and optimism, support our students to move mountains! Together we get to celebrate our students' academic growth and inclusive school environments that drove our student success! I congratulate everyone at Walnut Acres for their dedication to the students, teachers and school communities and thank them for their work to help lead our children on a path to a brighter future!"