2016 Civic Learning Award Winners Announced

for release

Contact: <a href="mailto:deborah.genzer@jud.ca.gov">Deborah Genzer</a>, 415-865-8755

March 1, 2016

2016 Civic Learning Award Winners Announced

Nine California public elementary, middle, and high schools recognized

SACRAMENTO—Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced nine winners of the Civic Learning Award for 2015–2016. The awards, now in their fourth year, were created to celebrate public schools’ efforts to engage students in civic learning.

This year’s awards spotlight public elementary, middle, and high schools, in accordance with recommendations from the California Task Force on K-12 Learning that civic learning begin in kindergarten. The schools receiving Awards of Excellence, the highest level, will receive a visit from the Chief Justice. They are:

Bellflower High School, Los Angeles
Natomas Pacific Pathways Middle/High School, Sacramento
Kumeyaay Elementary School, San Diego

Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said, “Visiting the Civic Learning Award Excellence schools is always among the highlights of my year. I’m inspired by the engagement and achievements of the students and the dedication and creativity of educators and the entire communities supporting these schools. It’s exciting to see these model schools innovating in engaging, real-world civic learning, and I congratulate the awarded schools at all levels.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said, “I’m proud of these outstanding schools and teachers, who are preparing students for their roles as citizens in the 21st century. Starting with students in elementary and middle school, teachers are engaging their students in mock trials, mock congress and other rigorous and relevant opportunities that develop civic skills. Their efforts make our students and our democracy stronger.”

The winners were selected by an expert panel, based on the depth and breadth of their civic learning courses or programs.

Six schools received Awards of Distinction, and 78 schools will receive Awards of Merit (see full list).

The Civic Learning Awards program is part of the Chief Justice’s civic learning initiative and partnership with the Superintendent of Instruction, launched in 2013 at the Civic Learning Summit.