By Raiza Giorgi


Five elementary schools in Santa Barbara County, including Solvang and College schools, have been named 2020 California Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education (CDE). 

“When a school creates opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning, just as is expected of engineers, artists, scientists, and architects each day, in their fields, learning soars. The award affirms our decision to create those opportunities,” said Dr. Steve Seaford, superintendent of Solvang School District. 

The other three honorees are Aliso Elementary School in the Carpinteria Unified School District, Kellogg Elementary in the Goleta Union School District, and Franklin Elementary School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

“We are proud of the exceptional education programs and practices at these school sites. This award highlights their outstanding work, and we are thrilled their work resulted in this recognition,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido.

The Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools based on performance and progress on state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate. Elementary schools and secondary schools are recognized in alternate years, so recipients hold the title for two years.

 Every year, two of California’s Distinguished Schools winners are also eligible to be recognized as a National Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools. 

The 2020 California School Recognition Program awards ceremony will take place on Feb. 10 at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. 

A list of past California Distinguished Schools in Santa Barbara County can be found at