Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell announced Monday that 484 exemplary California public elementary schools have been selected as 2010 California Distinguished Schools, and Santa Barbara Community Academy and Peabody Charter School are on the list.

“It is an honor to recognize the schools, and the students, parents, teachers and administrators who helped earn this most prestigious distinction,” O’Connell said. “The 2010 California Distinguished Schools have been selected because of their academic excellence and for narrowing achievement gaps. These schools have persevered despite state budget cutbacks that have cut deeply into the budgets of local school districts. I encourage educators throughout our state to review the signature practices that Distinguished Schools are using to improve student achievement.”

Schools earning the Distinguished School title agree to share their signature practices with other schools and serve as a mentor to other educators who want to replicate the work. An updated searchable database of these signature practices will be available later this spring by the California Department of Education.

The 2010 California Distinguished Schools are geographically diverse with locations in small rural communities, suburban neighborhoods and large urban cities. Most have significant populations of students living in poverty or learning English. Regardless of the setting, all these schools have teachers and principals committed to ensuring student success.

“I had the privilege to call all the winning schools and personally shared the good news with each principal,” O’Connell said. “These dedicated educators I spoke to clearly share a schoolwide vision of excellence where every student can succeed and achieve at the very highest levels of performance.”

The 2010 California Distinguished Schools will be honored during an awards ceremony and dinner at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim on June 4.

Click here to view the list of 2010 Distinguished Elementary Schools.