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ALLmeansALL! Walnut Valley USD is proud to be a National Schools to Watch District with numerous National Blue Ribbon, California Gold Ribbon, and California Distinguished School awards. Our motto is KIDS FIRST... Every Student, Every Day!  

South Pointe Named 2013 California Distinguished School

NEWS                                                                                    Walnut Valley Unified School District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                  880 S. Lemon Avenue
April 12, 2013                                                                        Walnut, CA 91789

Kelli Gile, Office of Community Resources
(909) 595-1261 ext. 31204

South Pointe Distinguished with Highest State Award

WALNUT, CA—Walnut Valley Unified School District congratulates South Pointe Middle School who has been named a 2013 California Distinguished School.

The Diamond Bar school also received the state’s highest award in 1999 and 2005.

“At South Pointe we know that creating successful 21st Century Citizens requires us to reach beyond academics and address the needs of the whole child.  We are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure student success. It took a dedicated staff, a wonderful student body, and a strong school community working together to achieve this honor,” said Principal Susan Arzola.

The announcement of the 218 public middle and high school winners chosen for their strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement was made on April 11 by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.

“These schools have gone the extra mile to provide high-quality instruction that puts their students on the right path toward career and college,” Torlakson said.

“Given the enormous challenges schools have faced in recent years, it is inspiring to see this kind of success in so many schools. Our future depends on meeting the needs of every student no matter where they come from or where they live.”

The 2013 California Distinguished Schools Program directly focuses on the right of California’s students to an equitable and rigorous education, and recognizes those schools that have made progress in narrowing the academic achievement gap.

To apply for Distinguished School honors, schools must meet a variety of eligibility criteria, including accountability measures. Once schools are deemed eligible, the California Department of Education (CDE) invites them to apply to be recognized as a California Distinguished School.

The application process consists of a written application, which includes a comprehensive description of two of the school's signature practices, and a county-led site validation review process, which validates the implementation of those signature practices.

South Pointe’s two signature practices are Systemic School-Wide Intervention and Enrichment and a School-wide STEAM Program focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math.

Overall, South Pointe’s Academic Performance Index increased from 902 in 2011 to 922 in 2012. The state’s target score is 800.

Elementary and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years. For more information please go to the California Distinguished Schools Program Web site.

Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and become a mentor to those seeking to replicate their work.

The award-winning schools will take part in ceremonies scheduled May 13 at the Burbank Marriott.


Panther Pride! South Pointe’s marquee announced the news of the state award. Shown: Principal Susan Arzola celebrates with school mascot.