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Districts of Distinction

Districts of Distinction is a national recognition program created by District Administration magazine to honor school districts that are leading the way with new ideas that work. We’re looking to recognize established initiatives that are yielding quantifiable benefits, and that could be replicated by other districts. Below you'll find a collection of honorees. To learn more about the program and when applications are being accepted visit Districts of Distinction

Mount Vernon City School District, Mount Vernon, New York

Challenge: Mount Vernon City School District, an urban system on New York City’s northern border, has suffered through years of academic and structural neglect, causing low graduation rates disparities in access to learning. High illiteracy, suspensions and violence were also pervasive.

Andover Public Schools, Andover, Massachusetts

Challenge: Students struggling with dyslexia were not being identified early enough in the reading education—until fourth grade in some cases—which created a need for significant remediation.

Pomona USD, Pomona, California

Challenge: Pomona USD serves 24,250 students; 85 percent live in poverty, 34 percent have been identified as ELLs and 11.6 percent require special ed. Summer programs were needed for all these demographics.

Avon Grove School District, West Grove, Pennsylvania

Challenge: Avon Grove School District wanted to provide additional STEM opportunities to its youngest learners, and to “ignite a love of STEM for girls,” says Director of Technology Gary Mattei.

Upper Merion Area School District, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Challenge: A new framework for science standards from the Pennsylvania Department of Education required a change in seventh- and eighth-grade curriculum, which also provided an opportunity to implement STEM-based instruction.

Plainville Community School District, Plainville, Connecticut

Challenge: Students have a responsibility to positively impact global society. Educators must therefore provide authentic and innovative learning experiences that engage students and that promote success in a technology-driven world.

Fond du Lac School District, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Challenge: The Fond du Lac School District did not have any schools dedicated to encouraging girls to explore careers in STEM-related fields.

Comstock ISD, Comstock, Texas

Challenge: Like in other small, rural districts, Comstock ISD administrators wanted to offer students advanced science classes that teach higher-level problem-solving skills. They also wanted to provide more opportunities to serve the community.  

Highline Public Schools, Burien, Washington

Challenge: In a district located amidst more than 200 aviation and aerospace businesses, a constant high demand exists for well-educated and highly skilled workers.

Encinitas USD, Encinitas, California

Challenge: Because of its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, Encinitas is deeply affected by water pollution, marine debris and, particularly, storm water runoff that can close beaches for as many as three days after a big rain.  

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