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EMUHSD School Named 2024 California Distinguished School for Exceptional Academic Performance

AHS 2024 California Distinguished School

Arroyo High School's commitment to academic excellence and closing the achievement gap led to it being recognized as a 2024 California Distinguished School by the California Department of Education. The school’s distinguished status will be in place for two years. 

Arroyo High School (AHS) has been recognized as one of four schools in the San Gabriel Valley and 293 in the state to achieve California Distinguished School status in 2024, highlighting the school’s dedication to academic excellence and narrowing the achievement gap for students.

The California Distinguished School Program’s (CDSP) announcement strengthens El Monte Union’s reputation as a District that promotes high achievement for all students. Arroyo High School will hold its California Distinguished School title for two years, signifying its efforts in fostering exceptional scholars. The recognition follows the school’s six-year accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) in 2023.

“We have come a long way since recovering from the pandemic, and I believe our staff has done a phenomenal job of bouncing back, showing our students and community what Arroyo has to offer,” AHS Principal Gabriel Flores said. “Words cannot describe how thrilled I am for our staff, students, and parents for receiving this recognition.”

CDSP selects distinguished schools after an in-depth analysis conducted by the California Department of Education, which identifies schools that have shown an increase in academic achievement, a reduction in suspension, high graduation rates, and a positive school climate.

Arroyo’s teachers and staff collaborate side-by-side with stakeholders to address the needs of students and refine programs and services, with data driven decisions and transparency at the forefront of their mission. Principal Flores credited the school’s socio-emotional wellness programs, including robust counseling services and intervention classes Monday through Thursday, for helping decrease suspension rates and improve state testing scores.

To address the achievement gap, AHS focuses on supporting students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and prioritizes their success in math and English Language Arts through tutoring and tailored programs. Initiatives like "Shields Up," designed to help students achieve academic success, are part of these efforts. Additionally, AHS educators conduct quarterly "cycles of inquiry" to identify and address areas for improvement in their curriculum.

“Every step we take toward ensuring our students success would not be possible without the support of our passionate educators and dedicated staff who go above and beyond for them every day,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “I am incredibly proud Arroyo High was recognized for these efforts, and I am eager to continue down this path of academic and personal excellence for our students and District community.”


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