Classroom at Birney Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District, one of 10 San Diego Unified schools winning 2020 honors. Image via

More than a dozen San Diego County elementary schools have been named California Distinguished Schools for 2020, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced Wednesday.

The state honored 323 elementary schools across the state for its 2020 California Distinguished Schools Award Program, including 17 San Diego area schools in the Chula Vista Elementary, La Mesa-Spring Valley, Lakeside Union Elementary, San Diego Unified, Santee and Vista Unified school districts.

“These outstanding schools don’t just educate students; they also provide the young people of California the tools they need to be successful after graduation,” Thurmond said. “Thanks go to all the staff at these schools — teachers, administrators, classified employees — and parents, who are working together to provide high-quality educational experiences for all of their students.”

Schools are recognized for their performance based on factors that include test scores and suspension rates. The state honors elementary schools and middle and high schools in alternating years, so this year’s honorees will hold their titles until at least 2021.

Two of the 323 schools will also be eligible to be named a National Elementary and Secondary Education Act Distinguished School Awardee.

All distinguished school awardees will be honored in February at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, according to Thurmond’s office.

The county schools honored (and their districts):

Chula Vista Elementary

  • Valle Lindo Elementary
  • EastLake Elementary
  • Heritage Elementary

Lakeside Union Elementary

  • Lakeside Farms Elementary

La Mesa-Spring Valley

  • Maryland Avenue Elementary

San Diego Unified

  • SD Global Vision Academy
  • Jonas Salk Elementary
  • Birney Elementary
  • Crown Point Elementary
  • Hawthorne Elementary
  • Rolando Park Elementary
  • Ericson Elementary
  • Hancock Elementary
  • Jerabek Elementary
  • Dingeman Elementary


  • PRIDE Academy at Prospect Avenue

Vista Unified

  • Casita Center for Science/Math/Technology

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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