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Oakland elementary school awarded state honor



Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland was awarded the title of California Distinguished School this week, administrators announced Saturday.

Principal Peter Van Tassel said he was “overjoyed” that the school’s efforts have been recognized by the state.

In a statement Van Tassel said:

“It’s been a multi-year process and we’ve got a ways to go. But this shows that we’re on the right track.”

The school said it has pushed for inclusiveness in teaching practices, especially following reports that suspension numbers in California were disproportionately affecting African American students.

According to the school, there has only been one student suspended over the last four years.

Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell said the award is a direct result of hard work by the school’s staff and students.

The school was also recognized for exemplary arts, physical activity and nutrition education programs.

The state-wide award, previously known as the California Gold Ribbon School Program, honors schools that close achievement gaps between students.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson granted the honor to 287 elementary schools this year.


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