CDCR Distinguished Schools
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 2017-18 Academic & CTE Achievements:
18,086 CTE Industry Certifications
2,361 CTE Program Completions
377 High School Diplomas
3,178 GED/HSE Completions
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.
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.
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
|December 3, 2018||DS Program Memorandum Released|
|January 1, 2019||DS Program Application Release Date|
|February 25, 2019||DS Program Online Application Due Date|
|March 2019||DS Program Application Review –Executive Team|
|May 13-17, 2019||DS Program Validation Committee Site Visits|
|June 2019||DS Program Awardee Announcement|
|July 2019||DS Program Recognition Awards Ceremony|
Additional DS Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions – TBD
- Distinguished School Application Sample – TBD
DS Contact Information
For more information, please contact OCESPU@cdcr.ca.gov.