Fallbrook Union High School (FUHS) was recently named a 2017 Gold Ribbon School by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. Fallbrook’s public high school was one of 276 middle and high schools that were honored under the Gold Ribbon Schools Awards Program.
“These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college,” state superintendent Tom Torlakson said. “I look forward to traveling the state to honor these schools and to help share the programs, methods, and techniques that are working.”
The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment, accountability, and continuous improvement systems. Fallbrook was one of 477 middle schools and high schools that applied this year to be honored.
Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies.
The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
To be a Gold Ribbon School, the school must represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaborating, but also highly successful school climate efforts, ranging from real time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention.
“We have been trying different things to engage student learning,” said Fallbrook High superintendent Hugo Pedroza, who said that student engagement and improved academics has always been a goal of the district. “We put a lot of attention with helping students in restorative circles and Challenge Days.”
As a Title I school, Fallbrook Union High School also received additional recognition as it receives federal Title I funds that assist in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty line.
Pedroza stated that while the school has made many strides to encourage student achievement, the high school is still a “work in progress.”
“My wish is to always do better. We are by no means finished, but we are proud of our accomplishments,” said Pedroza. “We hope that people will be able to see us as a viable school, not just for those in our community, but for others as well.”
The 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools as well as the 2017 Exemplary Program recipients, Title I Academic Achieving Award Schools, 2017 Green Ribbon Schools, 2017 Civic Learning Award Schools, and the National Blue Ribbon Schools from 2016, will be honored in May during regional ceremonies held in Costa Mesa, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Visalia, and Sacramento.