Two Redondo elementaries named Distinguished Schools

Former Birney Elementary principal Mira Baskaran welcomes students in January 2022. Photo by JP Cordero

Birney Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary in Redondo Beach have been named 2023 Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education. 

The honor salutes work in one of two categories: exceptional student performance and closing the achievement gap.

No awards were given a year ago due to the suspension of student data during the height of the pandemic.

“On behalf of the Board and our district leadership team, we congratulate the Birney and Jefferson school community for this stellar accomplishment,” said Dr. Nicole Wesley, RBUSD Superintendent of Schools. “Earning this honor is no easy feat, and reflects the commitment to student achievement and academic growth.”

For 2023, schools were evaluated using student (academic) assessment results, chronic absenteeism, socioeconomic data and suspension rates. The Distinguished Schools program began in 1985. 

The award notification from the state superintendent’s office does not establish whether the Redondo schools’ were noted for closing the achievement gap or exceptional student performance.

“My guess is exceptional student performance as we don’t have large student subgroups at these schools, but that would only be my assumption,” said Susan Wildes, RBUSD assistant superintendent of education services. ER


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