CDCR Distinguished Schools

distinguished school emblem

Program Information

The CDCR Distinguished Schools (DS) program recognizes exemplary achievements made in the field of correctional education within the 35 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) accredited schools. The program was created to distinguish and celebrate the CDCR schools that have made exceptional gains in implementing academic and career technical content and performance standards adopted by the Office of Correctional Education (OCE). It also provides the opportunity to shine a light on the successes and life-changing experiences of the academic teachers, vocational instructors, and inmate-students that normally aren’t seen behind prison walls.

The DS program is rooted in Richard Dufour’s work on Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and its best practices for reforming under-performing schools into high-achieving exemplars. It is based on a cycle of continuous improvement that focuses on student achievement and success through quality first instruction, timely needed academic support, and authentic educator self-assessment. Through Dufour’s PLC process and the commitment of quality education by correctional staff, the CDCR schools have state of the art Career Technical Education (CTE) programs and quality academic courses.

FY 2018-19 Academic & CTE Achievements:

12,555 CTE Industry Certifications

2,377 CTE Program Completions

271 High School Diplomas

2,952 HSE Completions

Link to Distinguished Schools Video

2019 Distinguished School Award Recipient

The Robert E. Burton Adult School, located inside the San Quentin State Prison, is the first CDCR adult school to earn the CDCR Distinguished School Award.


Eligibility

The DS process provides CDCR Institution Wardens, Principals, and other executive leaders the opportunity to shine a light on the outstanding programs they have built. The DS application and review process is neither a mandate nor a requirement. The distinction is intended to be a collaborative one, rooted in the strong belief that the schools inside the CDCR prisons deserve the recognition and acclaim that will accompany the Distinguished School Award honor. All CDCR schools are welcomed to apply.


Application

The DS Application for 2019 has ended. Please click here to email the OCE Special Projects Unit for the DS Application Packet.


Timeline of Activities

DATEACTIVITY
December 3, 2018DS Program Memorandum Released
January 1, 2019DS Program Application Release Date
February 25, 2019DS Program Online Application Due Date
March 2019 DS Program Application Review – Executive Team
May 13-17, 2019DS Program Validation Committee Site Visits
June 2019DS Program Awardee Announcement
July 2019DS Program Recognition Awards Ceremony

Contact Information

OCESPU@cdcr.ca.gov