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Middle College High School Named California Distinguished School

Middle College High School has routinely appeared on U.S. News & World Report’s list of best high schools. Now, Middle College can add Distinguished to its resume. 

Tuesday, April 27 State Superintendent TonyThurmond named 121 schools as 2021 California Distinguished Schools, including Middle College High School. The 121 schools were in addition to the 102 schools announced on March 18.

The California Department of Education (CDE) identifies and awards eligible schools based on performance and progress on state indicators specified on the California School Dashboard, the state’s accountability, and continuous improvement system. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, conditions, and climate.

“I was honestly surprised by the announcement,” Middle College Principal Finy Prak said. “I am extremely proud of my students, staff, and community. They never cease to amaze me. I also found out (Tuesday) that MCHS is one of only eight schools to be recognized in Contra Costa County and the sole school to be recognized in West Contra Costa USD. I am grateful that we get to rep WCCUSD on a positive note.”

The Distinguished Schools Program recognizes schools for their excellent work in one of two categories: closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance. Elementary schools and middle and high schools are recognized in alternate years; therefore, awardees hold the title for two years.

The Panthers improved their suspension rate from Green to Blue from 2018 to 2019 on the California School Dashboard. Middle College also maintained its Blue status in Graduation Rate, College/Career, and Green status in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

“After all that we have had to endure this past year, with the pandemic, remote learning, and limited in-person contact, it's quite refreshing to be celebrated,” Prak said. “This recognition confirms how outstanding, resilient, and bright our MCHS students are in the midst of adversity. There is no limit on what our students, staff, and community can achieve when they commit to success. We are so honored to receive this award.”

Middle College has an enrollment of 289 students. The school is located on the campus of Contra Costa College. Students take both high school and college courses.

For more information about Middle College, visit this link.