Rancho Pico & Rio Norte Named 2024 California Distinguished Schools

SANTA CLARITA, Calif – The William S. Hart Union High School District is proud to announce that Rancho Pico Junior High School and Rio Norte Junior High School have been honored with the prestigious title of 2024 California Distinguished Schools. This recognition underscores the exceptional commitment to educational excellence and innovative practices demonstrated by both schools.
The California Distinguished Schools Award celebrates exceptional schools, districts, teachers, and classified employees for their innovation, talent, and success in supporting students. This award is a reflection of Rancho Pico and Rio Norte junior high schools’ exemplary efforts in providing high-quality education, fostering an inclusive learning environment, and achieving outstanding results in student performance.
“It is my pleasure to honor and recognize these 293 secondary schools for their efforts to provide exemplary public education to all students. Excellent middle schools and high schools play a critical role in the life outcomes of our young people,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond in a press release on February 29. “This year’s California Distinguished Schools celebration provides us with an opportunity to recognize the hard work of our secondary educators and school staff who help our young adults discover passions and access college- and career-ready experiences that will propel them through life.”
The California Department of Education uses multiple measures to identify and select schools based on their performance on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Schools are recognized for exceptional student performance in English Language Arts (ELA) and math and reducing suspensions.
"We are excited to celebrate the success of Rancho Pico and Rio Norte as they are named 2024 California Distinguished Schools. This distinction is a recognition of the hard work and commitment of our educators, students, and the entire school community," said Superintendent Kuhlman.
The California Distinguished Schools Program recognizes elementary and middle and high schools in alternate years. Schools recognized as a California Distinguished Schools hold the title for two years. The 2024 California Distinguished Schools will be recognized at a reception in Anaheim in May.