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San Bernardino City Unified’s Hillside Elementary Wins Prestigious Honors

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Hillside University Demonstration School has earned prestigious, back-to-back awards for its work to ensure all students succeed academically.

The California Department of Education recently recognized Hillside with a Title I Academic Achievement Award for demonstrating that all students are making significant progress toward proficiency on California’s academic content standards.

The Title I Academic Achievement Award is given to schools receiving federal Title I funds as authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Title I, the single largest federal educational program for K-12 public education, assists schools in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty level.

In March, the National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST) named Hillside one of the nation’s top urban schools that achieve exceptional academic results. To compete for the 2014 National Excellence in Urban Education Award, schools had to serve predominantly low-income students. They also had to meet a long list of student performance criteria, including high achievement scores, high attendance rates, and low suspension rates, among other requirements. In addition, each racial, ethnic, and income group served had to demonstrate rates of proficiency that exceeded the proficiency rates for all students in the state. Schools also could not use any selective admission criteria to screen out less-capable students.

Hillside, which earned a Bronze Award from NCUST, was 1 of just 16 schools around the nation that demonstrated the greatest evidence of rigorous content, engaging instruction, and positive relationships among students, teachers, parents, and administrators. The only other California school to be recognized is a charter school in El Cajon. All of the award-winning schools were recognized at a special ceremony during the NCUST Symposium on Thursday, May 22 in San Diego.

“We are fortunate to have very dedicated teachers who put students first,” said Principal Tommie Archuleta. “Everyone, from our parents to our community partners, has high expectations for our students. And, our students have shown us that they can meet and often exceed those high expectations.”

Hillside Elementary is a University Demonstration School, where California State University, San Bernardino students who are preparing to enter the educational field work with master teachers. The school, which serves more than 700 students in grades kindergarten through six, offers the sought-after Dual Immersion program.

Hillside is a testimony to the transformation that is taking place across San Bernardino City Unified, said Superintendent Dr. Dale Marsden.

“Our schools are where hope is born,” Marsden said. “If our students, our employees, and our schools have hope, then our entire community has hope.”

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