State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces 2016 California Gold Ribbon Schools

ORANGE, CA — April 14, 2016 — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson made the official announcement yesterday that 19 Orange Unified elementary schools – the highest number in any District in Orange County - have been named 2016 California Gold Ribbon Schools.

Congratulations to California, Canyon Rim, Crescent, Fairhaven, Fletcher, Handy, Imperial, La Veta, Lampson, Nohl Canyon, Palmyra, Prospect, Running Springs, Serrano, Sycamore, Taft, Villa Park and West Orange Elementary Schools, and McPherson Magnet School, on receiving this prestigious honor. The Orange County Department of Education put signs and balloons at each of the campuses early this morning.

The Gold Ribbon Awards recognize California schools based on their implementation of  academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Schools apply for the award based on a model program or practice that can be replicated by other sites and successfully includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices.

“These schools shine as bright beacons for others, putting forth an exemplary effort to ensure that every student is ready for 21st century college and careers,” Torlakson said. “California teachers are developing an education model for the nation, training the students of today to be the problem-solvers, inventors, and pioneers of tomorrow.”

The Gold Ribbon Schools Award program has taken the place of the California Distinguished Schools Program while California develops new assessment and accountability systems. Almost 6,000 elementary schools were eligible to apply, and 772 were selected as recipients statewide. Elementary and secondary schools are recognized during alternate years.

The 2016 Elementary Gold Ribbon Schools will be honored in May/June during regional ceremonies held in Santa Clara, Anaheim, Los Angeles, Visalia, and Sacramento.


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 26,000 PreK-12th grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.