Fillmore High School Makes History with State Honor

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California Distinguished School - WikipediaFor the first time ever, Fillmore High School in the Fillmore Unified School District (FUSD) is being honored with the prestigious California Distinguished Schools Award. The California Department of Education announced last week that Fillmore High School is one of only 293 schools out of thousands statewide to receive the honor in 2024.


Fillmore High School was selected as a Distinguished School following its exemplary efforts to increase student achievement in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. “After the pandemic, instead of focusing on the challenges ahead of us, we focused on creating opportunities for our students,” said FUSD Superintendent Christine Schieferle. “We expanded counseling and social-emotional support and focused on developing the capacity of our staff. Additional academic and counseling supports were added to meet the needs of our students.”


Seventy-nine percent of Fillmore High School’s students are from families considered to be socioeconomically disadvantaged. “This award is proof that all students from every community have the ability to achieve great things when they are given the tools and support they need to thrive,” said Dr. César Morales, Ventura County Superintendent of Schools.


One of the keys to Fillmore High School’s success is its recent focus on creating a Professional Learning Community (PLC) in which staff at all levels collaborate regularly to set goals, address problems, and assess progress. “This transformation to becoming a PLC in a little over a year has been monumental,” said Fillmore High School Principal Keith Derrick. “It showcases our commitment to improving student learning through collaborative, focused efforts and indicates positive trends toward sustained improvement and achievement of our goals.”


“It is a great honor for Fillmore High School to be recognized as a California Distinguished School,” said FUSD School Board President Olivia Palacio. “I commend all administration, teachers, and classified staff. You make a huge impact on our students, and your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. Our students will continue achieving their goals with your support.”


More information about the 2024 California Distinguished Schools Award and the complete list of honorees is available here.