Grossmont Union High School District offices in the refurbished “Castle” next to Grossmont High School. Ken Stone photo

State Superintendent Tony Thurmond included seven San Diego County campuses in his announcement Monday of the state’s 162 Distinguished Schools for 2019.

Robert L. Mueller Charter School, Grossmont High School, Meadowbrook Middle School, Mt. Carmel High School, Literacy First Charter School, Challenger Middle School and the School for Entrepreneurship and Technology were among those honored in the Distinguished Schools program, which recognizes the state’s best educators. The state honors schools based on an assortment of factors like their test scores, suspension rates and graduation rates.

“I would like to commend these schools for fighting for a better future for our students, closing achievement gaps, and improving academic performance,” Thurmond said. “Thanks to teachers, administrators, classified employees, and parents working together, these schools meet the needs of all of their students, provide high-quality educational experiences, and put kids on a pathway to great careers.”

Thurmond’s office singled out Grossmont High, in particular, for its social and emotional learning practices like a time-out reflection room in lieu of detention and twice-weekly emotional intelligence classes. State education officials found that the programs helped lower instances of violence, substance abuse and harassment at Grossmont High.

The state also honored one school district from 18 different counties for their positive cultures and student excellence. Thurmond honored the Poway Unified School District as the county’s best in 2019.

— City News Service