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Saugus district boasts 5 new distinguished schools

• All sites listed as high-achieving.

Posted: April 26, 2008 2:59 a.m.
Updated: June 27, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Five schools in the Saugus Union School District have been named 2008 California Distinguished Schools by the state Board of Education.

Bridgeport, Charles Helmers and North Park elementary schools in Valencia, and Emblem and Mountainview elementary schools in Saugus will receive the honor at a special ceremony hosted by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell on May 16.

"We are just really proud of each and every one of them," said Joan Lucid, assistant superintendent of instruction for the district.

The California Distinguished School award is given to public schools within the state that best represent quality educational programs. The program was established in 1985, and alternates each year between elementary (even years) and secondary (odd years) schools.

According to Lucid, all five schools are high-achieving sites with Academic Performance Index (API) scores over 800, except for Helmers, which scored 907. This is the first recognition for Bridgeport Elementary.

"Susan Bender, principal of Bridgeport, and her staff and community are proud of their academic focus that embraces the visual and performing arts and Character Counts activities," Lucid said.

Emblem first received Distinguished School status in 1995 and National Blue Ribbon status in 1997. Julie Bogosian, principal of Emblem, and her staff are constructing great minds as they spent two years on the campus at Tesoro del Valle, returned to a campus under construction and will celebrate their newest honor as they move into their newly modernized facility.

Charles Helmers has now been recognized four times as a California Distinguished School and once as a National Blue Ribbon School in
2005. "Special programs at Helmers include a unique partnership with the Los Angeles Music Center, which brings artists in residence to the site," Lucid said.

Mountainview has been recognized three times as a California Distinguished School and once as a National Blue Ribbon School in
2004. "Their API of 893 speaks to their dedication to academic achievement," Lucid said. "It should also be noted that Mountainview has an accomplished orchestra and an intervention program designed to meet the needs of each and every student."

This is North Park's second distinguished school recognition. Their arts programs are unique and cleverly engage their students to succeed in all areas, Lucid said.


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