(UPDATED) Nevada County high school earns national award | TheUnion.com

(UPDATED) Nevada County high school earns national award

A Nevada County high school has been recognized as one of the most academically successful schools in the country.

Ghidotti Early College High School was named a National Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in an announcement Tuesday morning.

Ghidotti is one of 335 schools nationwide and 33 schools in California to receive the distinction, which recognizes public and private elementary, middle and high schools for attaining high student achievement or for making significant progress in closing achievement gaps among its students.

Nevada Joint Union High School District Superintendent Louise Johnson said she was pleased that a national spotlight is being shined on the school’s staff and students.

“What we have at Ghidotti is a team of very dedicated teachers and very dedicated, hardworking students who will take on any challenge,” Johnson said.

Schools are nominated for the award by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. To be nominated as a high-performing school, students must score in the top 15 percent of all state schools on English Language Arts and math assessments for the most recent year that tests were completed. Test scores from that year are also broken down by student subgroup; student test scores in each subgroup must be in the top 40 percent of all state schools when compared by subgroup.

In addition, a high school’s most recent graduation rate must be in the top 15 percent of state graduation rates for that year.

Ghidotti, which opened in 2006, allows high school students to attend classes at Sierra College at no cost; students can graduate with a high school diploma as well as an associate’s degree or credits toward college. Last year, 158 students attended the school, which employs five full-time teachers.

In May, the school graduated 33 students and handed out 22 associate degrees to 17 students — the most associate degrees earned by a graduating class in the school’s history.

The school also returned high scores on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress administered to its 11th-graders last spring. One hundred percent of students tested either met or exceeded the state’s standards for both English Language Arts and Math on the computer-based exams, the first to test students on California’s Common Core standards.

Two representatives from Ghidotti will attend a ceremony at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington DC on Nov. 9-10, where they will receive a flag and an engraved plaque to bring back to the school.

Since the program began in 1982, more than 8,000 schools nationwide have earned the distinction of being a National Blue Ribbon School.

To contact Staff Writer Emily Lavin, email elavin@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

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