State Superintendent of Education Jack O'Connell visited Bullis Charter School in Los Altos this month to recognize the school as a California Distinguished School.
"I was honored to be able to join in the excitement as these dedicated educators learned their schools earned this coveted title," O'Connell said. "From their stories, it became clear that they share a schoolwide vision of excellence where every student can succeed and achieve at the very highest levels of performance."
The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes exemplary and inspiring schools in the state.
"This award is a testament to the incredible talents, dedication and sheer hard work of the entire BCS community," said Wanny Hersey, BCS principal and superintendent. "Four years ago we set out to implement our vision and are thrilled to be recognized as a California Distinguished School."
Students heard the news at a special school assembly April 9.
"I think our school is the best school there could be," said Neel Gupta, a second-grade class representative.
Parents who attended applauded the administration, staff members and students for their achievement.
"This is such a great way to honor our entire community," said parent Nadja Jackson. "BCS delivers a top-notch educational program while creating an atmosphere of leadership, positive school spirit and pride."
A visitation team from the California Department of Education spent a day at BCS evaluating its mission, implementation and award-winning academic programs to determine its selection.
The review committee singled out the project-based learning using curriculum that emphasizes problem solving, inquiry-based instruction and cooperative learning as an important contribution to the school's success.
"Most importantly, the signature practice of the school – individual learning plans for each student – sets the foundation upon which the instructional program is developed," the review documents reported.
In addition to the California Distinguished School Award, BCS has received WASC accreditation and been named one of the leading charter schools in the state. Its API scores place BCS in the top 1 percent of California elementary schools.
The school's open-enrollment period recently ended with a record number of enrollment requests.