BALDWIN PARK – Eight Baldwin Park Unified schools were named California Gold Ribbon Schools on Wednesday for boosting student achievement through programs that promote college, literacy, English/Spanish biliteracy, collaborative teaching and parent engagement.

Baldwin Park Unified’s Central, Charles Bursch, Elwin, Ernest R. Geddes, Foster, Kenmore, Pleasant View and Tracy elementary schools were each recognized.

“Our Gold Ribbon awards are clear and resounding validation of the strength of Baldwin Park Unified’s academic program,” Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said. “A hallmark of all these programs is how they grew from the commitment of our teachers and campus leaders to craft new approaches to meet the needs of all of our students.”

The Gold Ribbon is California’s highest academic award, created in 2015 as a substitute to the Distinguished School Program to celebrate schools for model programs during rollout of the new California Standards. The program started last year with middle and high schools. This year, it recognized 772 elementary schools.

Schools applied for the Gold Ribbon program in November 2015. Applications were reviewed in January and site visits conducted through March. Regional award ceremonies will be held in May.

Baldwin Park Unified Winning Programs

Central Elementary: The school created a STEM Exploratory Laboratory credited with boosting state science scores and student engagement.

Charles Bursch Elementary: No Excuses University and Teach Like a Champion programs are raising academic expectations for students and pushing innovation for teachers. They have raised performance for all student groups on the state’s previous assessments and its new Common Core-aligned tests.

Elwin Elementary: The school’s Heartfelt Parent Engagement Program has increased parent participation in school programs, which in turn has driven improvements in student engagement and achievement.

Ernest R. Geddes Elementary: An emphasis on collaborative teaching has led to early implementation of an instructional intervention program and national recognition for closing the achievement gap.

Foster Elementary: A dual-language immersion program not only creates a path to biliteracy, but also has helped boost student performance on state assessments.

Kenmore Elementary: A literacy integration program incorporates reading and writing standards across all content areas. Literacy tools have boosted school test scores and sped transition of English learners to fluent English speakers.

Pleasant View Elementary: A No Excuses University program creates collaboration among teachers, parents and students to boost academic expectations. Performance has surged on assessments, putting the school at the forefront of the District.

Tracy Elementary: The school’s dual-language immersion program is so popular that students transfer to the district to enroll. Participants test at par or outperform their peers, regardless of demographic challenges.