Home » 28 Contra Costa County Elementary Schools Selected As State Distinguished Schools

28 Contra Costa County Elementary Schools Selected As State Distinguished Schools


28 Contra Costa County elementary schools are being honored with the 2023 California Distinguished Schools award by the California Department of Education (CDE).

According to the CDE, these exceptional elementary schools are, “illustrative of the hard work, dedication, and resilience shown by educators and schools across the state after communities struggled for multiple years with urgent effects to physical and mental health and unprecedented challenges to delivering education.” Schools that applied for the award were eligible based on their performance and progress on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include assessment results, chronic absenteeism, suspension rates, and socioeconomic data.

“It is my pleasure to congratulate the principals, staff, and families of these 28 extraordinary schools,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “Over the last three years, educators and support staff have overcome hurdles that no one could foresee. I commend all of you for your diligence and commitment to scholars in Contra Costa County.”

The California 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/high schools are recognized in alternate years; therefore, awardees hold the title for two years. The list of twenty-eight recognized schools (in alphabetical order, according to District) for 2023 is below.


  • Canyon Elementary, Canyon Elementary
  • Lafayette Elementary, Happy Valley Elementary
  • Lafayette Elementary, Burton Valley Elementary
  • Lafayette Elementary, Lafayette Elementary
  • Moraga Elementary, Los Perales Elementary
  • Moraga Elementary, Donald L. Rheem Elementary
  • Moraga Elementary, Camino Pablo Elementary
  • Mt. Diablo Unified, Sequoia Elementary
  • Mt. Diablo Unified, Walnut Acres Elementary
  • Mt. Diablo Unified, Bancroft Elementary
  • Orinda Union Elementary, Del Rey Elementary
  • Orinda Union Elementary, Glorietta Elementary
  • Orinda Union Elementary, Sleepy Hollow Elementary
  • Orinda Union Elementary, Wagner Ranch Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Vista Grande Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Neil A. Armstrong Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Alamo Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Greenbrook Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Live Oak Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Hidden Hills Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Sycamore Valley Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, John Baldwin Elementary
  • San Ramon Valley Unified, Walt Disney Elementary
  • Walnut Creek Elementary, Buena Vista Elementary
  • Walnut Creek Elementary, Parkmead Elementary
  • Walnut Creek Elementary, Tice Creek
  • West Contra Costa Unified, Kensington Elementary
  • West Contra Costa Unified, Madera Elementary


Oh, please January 6, 2023 - 9:37 PM - 9:37 PM

Lol. Public schools are trash.

Givengold January 6, 2023 - 9:57 PM - 9:57 PM

Nice, productive comment. Our public schools are a mirror of the public. Looked in the mirror lately?

Oh, please January 7, 2023 - 11:03 AM - 11:03 AM

Well, most of the public is trash. But, we go to a private school. So… If you have a problem with my comment, it is clear you support trash. I have tried my best to advocate and make things better. Donated a bunch of money to our public school. But, I would not let my kids go down with a sinking ship. Productive would be for the trash politicians to support school choice so everyone has the opportunity for something better and the schools have to be accountable (for once!). Instead, the politicians know that the liberal schools will continue supporting their liberal policies because they get money from each other. That way, no one has to be accountable and our kids suffer. Well, I DON’T support that, so I cannot, in good conscious, support public schools. The most productive thing is for people to keep pulling their kids out at this point. The end. What have YOU done that is productive, huh?

Well Folks January 8, 2023 - 9:29 AM - 9:29 AM

Interesting. Kids in Lafayette, Orinda, WC & San Ramon don’t have to go to private school.. It’s all about demographics. So I agree with what GIVENGOLD says. And the schools that are listed have a 99% graduation rate and the students actually go to college and graduate. Bottom line the schools listed as as good or better than your private school
Would love oto see a Concord person like you go to Lafayette or Orinda and tell them they are trash. Yeah the Have multi million dollar incomes and million dollar homes. What you have a $150,000 income and a $500,000 home. So who is the trash?

Cyn January 8, 2023 - 4:26 PM - 4:26 PM

@Well Folks
A 99% graduation rate doesn’t mean what it used to, as kids are graduating all over the place who can’t read or complete a basic math problem. Your bottom line is incorrect, but not as much as your financial analysis relating to trash. Holy cow, I can’t believe you wrote that, let alone posted it.

JK January 9, 2023 - 11:59 AM - 11:59 AM

Oh Please, have you actually studied what you suggest? ALL completed studies that I’ve found are in 100% agreement, that vouchers (which you support as “school choice”) do not help, merely stratify results even worse than in public schools. One study was done of New Orleans schools for 10 yrs post-Katrina, where they had no real choice but to institute pretty much a complete charter program, as the population and tax base hadn’t recovered enough to support public schools. The results, like in all virtually all voucher programs, were NOT good. I understand that you are unhappy with public education, but it would be great if you backed up your suggestions with real evidence, as your statements just aren’t backed up by facts, am afraid.

Of Course January 9, 2023 - 1:04 PM - 1:04 PM

When all of your studies come from the corrupt teachers unions, you will get 100% agreement that anything other than corrupt public school systems are bad.

Worried January 7, 2023 - 4:52 AM - 4:52 AM

They are not schools they are indoctrination centers so I can see why California would nominate all the elite schools California education department what a joke

Hayden Barsotti January 7, 2023 - 6:43 AM - 6:43 AM

It’s wonderful that they get recognition, but can the students read or write?

Oh, please January 7, 2023 - 11:06 AM - 11:06 AM

No. You know that. This is just a competition to out-liberal each other. Who is the best at brainwashing.

Well Folks January 8, 2023 - 9:31 AM - 9:31 AM

In those areas your better believe it. They high schools in those areas have a 99% graduation rates, the childen attend some of the best colleges in the county and actually earn degrees. Just take a look at the alumni lists from Acalanes, Campolindo, Miramonte, San Ramon Valley and Monte Vista.

domo January 7, 2023 - 8:10 AM - 8:10 AM

Out of 28 MDUSD only has 3 in the selection despite having probably the largest student population – says something about MDUSD teaching …. sad

Oh, please January 7, 2023 - 11:07 AM - 11:07 AM

If MDUSD had more local control (made into smaller districts), then each area could really focus on what they need. But they refuse to give up the money and power for the betterment of the kids. They can all rot.

Well Folks January 8, 2023 - 9:32 AM - 9:32 AM

And look where those 2 schools are. Yep upper middle class. Says it all

No Excuses January 7, 2023 - 1:24 PM - 1:24 PM

I used to value these reports a great deal. When my kids were in the MDUSD school system plus being boosted by some at-home help, they learned the basics, and learned them pretty well, I thought. Now, however, (after some early struggles in college) they refuse to allow their own children to attend the same schools they did. They obviously know something that I must have missed.
I fear the accolades and rewards may be little more than systematic game playing in exchange for a big chunk of the education dollars.

Well Folks January 8, 2023 - 9:34 AM - 9:34 AM

Maybe your kids need to move to Lafayette, Orinda, Morgaga or Danville. As you can see on the list they have excellent public education. Live in a place like Concord or Antioch and well the demographic does not bode well for quality education

SAM January 8, 2023 - 9:19 AM - 9:19 AM

What is this malarkey? These new young adults are useless, lazy, brainwashed with communism and can’t even math. But boy can they tell you about pronouns. Good job public school teachers, you have zero morals. You went to school for 4 years and why would you ever go against the district and risk your pension for the future of our country? How silly of me to have ever thought you guys would push back the wokeness. Keep peddling the party line and we’ll keep removing our children from your government funded indoctrination centers. Oh yeah, totally distinguished, for sure. 🤡🌎

SAM January 8, 2023 - 9:33 AM - 9:33 AM

Or is this what the left means by “distinguished”? Public school teachers had their chance to do the right thing, they chose woke thinking they were righteous. Basking in their arrogant kareness when confronted by normal parents.
Now do California

Well Folks January 8, 2023 - 9:36 AM - 9:36 AM

Hmmmm….look at the list. All of the schools are in an area with upper middle -upper class incomes. Says everything

Amomimous January 8, 2023 - 2:14 PM - 2:14 PM

Most of you are arguing in narratives.

Bob Wiley January 12, 2023 - 7:50 PM - 7:50 PM

Lacrosse, tennis, rugby, golf team, band…. yeah you don’t find those activities offered in the low income area schools in the bay area. Nothing against being wealthy but it is unfortunate that these schools get the same government funding as do the other schools in the ghetto but the quality is much lower for the poor kids.

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