State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announces 2020 Civic Learning Award recipients

March 23, 2020
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced that 75 schools won this year’s Civic Learning Awards, which celebrate public schools’ efforts to engage students in civic learning. Now in its eighth year, the awards program is co-sponsored by Thurmond and Chief Justice of California Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. These schools engage students in civic learning through strong civics curriculum in school and service-learning projects in their communities. The awards are designed to both celebrate successful efforts to engage students in civic learning and to identify successful models that can be replicated in other schools. “As a passionate supporter of civics, I’m so proud of these schools for engaging students in civics early, which helps engage them for life,” said Thurmond, in a news release. “During my time both as a civics teacher and in the state Legislature, I’ve always encouraged students to get involved. My office continues to be open for students to share their ideas on new bills on whatever issues affect them, anything from keeping college affordable to student housing.” “Congratulations to this year’s Civic Learning Award recipients,” said Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye. “They serve as models for all schools to promote the importance of civic education and engagement for all students.” Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye visits schools receiving Awards of Excellence, the highest level, which include: La Costa Heights Elementary School in San Diego County, where fifth graders picked a state bill to research and advocate for with their state legislators. Students chose to focus on pay equity with Assembly Bill 271 and presented their findings and recommendations to lawmakers.  Students also helped design and install 40 environmentally friendly drop boxes in the community for voters to cast absentee ballots. The school has received the Award of Distinction and the Award of Merit in previous years. This is the first year it received the Award of Excellence. South Junior High School in Orange County, where students prepare and deliver two-minute “soapbox” speeches that include a call to action on issues of importance, such as the death penalty, gun laws, and college tuition. They later deliver their speeches before a panel of local judges. The school also created its own “Soapbox Night,” giving students the opportunity to present issues they are passionate about in a public platform. Savanna High School in Orange County, where all students participate in the Raising Student Voice and Participation program at Savanna High School. Over the course of a year, each class identifies and seeks solutions to a problem on campus. In Economics classes, students use Google Maps to choose a vacant lot and create a video to pitch a valuable project for the community. Government class students can train as poll workers, and many work 15-hour shifts on Election Day. In addition to the three Awards of Excellence schools, six schools received the Award of Distinction, which will be presented personally by members of the judiciary. This year’s Award of Distinction schools are: Park Dale Lane Elementary, San Diego County San Marino Elementary, Orange County Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep Middle/High School Charter, Sacramento County Walker Junior High, Orange County Pacific High School, San Bernardino County Loara High School, Orange County
In addition to the top nine schools, 66 schools received the Award of Merit.  Below is a full list of the 2020 Civic Learning Award recipients. Excellence Award Winners San Diego County — La Costa Heights Elementary School; Orange County — Savanna High School and South Junior High School; Distinction Award Winners
Sacramento County — Natomas Pacific Pathways Prep Middle/High School Charter; San Bernardino County — Pacific High School; San Diego County — Park Dale Lane Elementary; Orange County — Loara High School, San Marino Elementary School and Walker Junior High;  Merit Award Winners
Contra Costa County — Tice Creek School; Fresno County — Century Elementary School, Cole Elementary School, Copper Hills Elementary School, Dry Creek Elementary School, Fort Washington Elementary School, Freedom Elementary School, Fresno High School, Garfield Elementary School, Maple Creek Elementary School, Red Bank Elementary School, Riverview Elementary School, Roger S. Oraze Elementary, Tarpey Elementary School, and Virginia R. Boris Elementary School; Humboldt County — Fortuna Middle School; Los Angeles County — Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School, Animo Pat Brown Charter High School, Carmenita Middle School, Center Street School, Diamond Point Elementary, Eastman Avenue Elementary School, Highland High School, Julia B. Morrison Elementary School, Lancaster High School, Orange Grove Middle School, Suzanne Middle School, Walnut Grove Intermediate School, William Workman High School, Wittmann (Helen) Elementary School and Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School; Merced County — R. M. Miano Elementary School; Monterey County — Everett Alvarez High School and Salinas High School; Orange County — Anaheim High School, Ball Junior High School, Brookhurst Junior High School, Buena Terra Elementary School, Chapman Hills Elementary School, Dale Junior High School, Garden Grove High School, George B. Miller Elementary School, John F. Kennedy High School, Katella High School, Los Coyotes Elementary School, Orangeview Junior High, Oxford Academy, Raymond Temple Elementary School, Santiago Charter Middle School, Sycamore Junior High, Western High School, Anaheim High School and Ball Junior High School; Riverside County — Clearwater Elementary STEAM and Chaparral High School; Sacramento County — Hiram W. Johnson High School, Natomas Charter School and Rio Americano High School; San Bernardino County — Alta Loma High School, El Camino Elementary School and Rancho Cucamonga High School; San Diego County — Liberty Charter High School; San Mateo County — Design Tech High School; Santa Clara County — Hester High School; Solano County — Kairos Public School Vacaville Academy; Ventura County — Madera Elementary School.

© 2020 Association of California School Administrators