Grant and Washington designated as California Distinguished Schools

Exciting teaching strategies, a commitment to community service, and child-centered learning environments are just some of the qualities that were noted when Grant and Washington elementary schools received Distinguished School status from the California Department of Education.

Exciting teaching strategies, a commitment to community service, and child-centered learning environments are just some of the qualities that were noted when Grant and Washington elementary schools received Distinguished School status from the California Department of Education.

Grant School has previously been recognized as a California Distinguished School in 1987. Washington School has also been recognized in 1987 and 1997.

The Grant report noted, "The teachers and administration subscribe to a very motivating hands-on approach. Classrooms reflect this with colorful displays of student work and engaging bulletin boards."

Grant's staff was given credit for working together. "This is a very harmonious staff. There are many opportunities to interface. Collaboration is a strength resulting in Ocean Weeks, a school-wide thematic unit at the end of each year," the report stated.

Grant's extensive after-school program was mentioned. "The school houses a sizable Community Learning Center which offers remediation and enrichment opportunities after school. In addition, students can receive help with math and reading before school."

Washington School's distinguished school application mentions the school's high academic marks. "A key element to Washington students' continued academic success is the school's initiative in exploring and implementing innovative programs. A restructured scheduling of the school day and the development of a multi-age program at the primary grades are successful outcomes of the Washington 'can-do' spirit."

The application also noted, "Every decision made at Washington is child-centered and constantly stresses the developmental needs of its students as its highest priority."

A Washington parent commented that school efforts, "fuse together like a quilt of many pieces-a quilt that envelops our children. Not always definable in measurable terms, it's a thing of great beauty." On May 5, representatives from the two Eureka schools will travel to Anaheim to be recognized among 233 California schools. Applications were received from 681 schools, the largest number in the school recognition program's 15-year history.

For more information contact Kevin O'Brien, principal at Grant Elementary, 441-2552. Grant School is located at Oak and H Streets, Eureka.

For more information contact Kathleen Honsal, principal at Washington Elementary, 441-2547. Washington School is located at 3322 Dolbeer, Eureka.