ORANGE, Calif. (April 9, 2018) – Orange Unified School District (OUSD) announced today that Crescent Elementary School has been named a 2018 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. Crescent Elementary is one of 43 schools in Orange County and 287 schools statewide to be selected for this year’s award. Crescent will be formally honored in May during the California Distinguished School Awards Ceremony at Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. The OUSD Board of Education will also recognize the school at its meeting on Thursday, May 10, 2018.

The California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes California schools that have made exceptional gains in implementing academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. Schools that applied were eligible based on their performance and progress on the state indicators, as described on the California School Dashboard. Those indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and English learner progress. The California School Dashboard is a new assessment and accountability system that was recently implemented and offers a more comprehensive look at how K-12 schools and districts are educating and supporting students.

“We are honored that Crescent Elementary School has received the California Distinguished School Award for 2018,” said Principal Shele Tamaki. “Our school’s high performance in academics and positive behavior across all student population groups is a direct result of our dedicated, creative, and talented staff and our supportive school community. We welcome the state’s validation of everyone’s teamwork on behalf of our students.”

Crescent Elementary School is a transitional kindergarten through sixth grade school of choice that serves a culturally and economically diverse student population of 767, including 214 open-enrollment students, in Anaheim Hills. It is also a GATE magnet school that serves students in grades three through six. The school provides a strong, integrated curriculum with language as the centerpiece of learning, developing a balance of skills, knowledge, and understanding. The staff adheres to the belief that education encompasses the whole child and that education is much more than a list of standards or words in a text book. The school also empowers its students to take responsibility for their learning, preparing them for the demands of the future, always cognizant of their physical/mental health, engagement, support and challenge.

“I am extremely proud of Crescent Elementary School and what Principal Shele Tamaki and her staff and students have achieved,” said OUSD Superintendent Gunn Marie Hansen, Ph.D. “Crescent is the embodiment of a California Distinguished School and of Orange Unified School District’s mission of offering a learning environment of excellence, with high expectations, to provide each student with the opportunity to be able to compete in the global economy.”

A complete list of 2018 California Distinguished Schools and additional information about the California Distinguished Schools program is available on the California Department of Education’s website.

Congratulations to Crescent Elementary School on being recognized as a California Distinguished School!



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.