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Mother Lode Middle School Wins State ‘Gold’

Avery, CA – A Mother Lode school has been honored as one of only 373 Gold Ribbon Schools, statewide, for the 2014-15 school year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson this week announced that Avery Middle School is among the 193 middle schools and 180 high schools to receive Gold Ribbon Schools Awards as part of a new program.

As the state’s Distinguished School Awards is on temporary hiatus, in tandem with assessments testing standards, schools applying for recognition under the Gold Ribbon program were required to demonstrate achievement based on successful implementation of Common Core Standards as well as other quantitative and qualitative assessment data. Avery Middle School Principal Jared Hungerford says in his submitted materials he provided information detailing school culture and student achievements that included grade-point-averages and honor roll lists.

In receiving the honor, Hungerford comments  “My staff worked so hard and we have great students and a great community…we were previously awarded the California Distinguished School Awards and we are an Apple Distinguished School…so, I think it is just another positive recognition of what we have been working on for so long.”

The Avery school head for the past year and a half now, Hungerford shares that, through a dedicated staff and supportive community, the school is able to provide individualized, focused help as well as extra challenges and opportunities to its current enrollment of 207 sixth through eighth grade students. He notes that with just nine teachers and a support staff of 12 the dedication and additional hours they put in for the good of the kids is exemplified by the award recognition. “It’s a really positive thing, even in the midst of challenges, technology and otherwise, and we’ve been able to keep our focus on what really matters, and that is increasing student learning and challenging them and helping them to see what opportunities are out there for them in the world,” he states.

Superintendent Torlakson describes Gold Ribbon Schools as academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching. To that, he adds, “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right—embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.”