Irvington receives Gold Ribbon Award and Exemplary Arts Education


Along with other FUSD high schools, American High School and Washington High School, Irvington was recognized as a Gold Ribbon award-winner at a regional ceremony in Santa Clara. Irvington High School was one of the 24 schools in California that received an Exemplary Program Award, and one of the 18 schools specifically recognized for their art programs (California Department of Education).

On May 2, the California Department of Education honored Irvington High School with the 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools Award Program and the Exemplary Arts Education Program Award. Irvington was one of the seven FUSD schools that were recognized by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, among 275 other California middle schools and high schools.

Irvington was lauded as a California Distinguished School in 1994, 1999, and 2005. Irvington also received national recognition as National Blue Ribbon School in 1994 and 1995.

This year, Irvington received the title as a Gold Ribbon School due to its benchmark project program. On March 20, inspectors from the California Department of Education spoke with Irvington teachers and benchmark coordinators. The department recognized that Irvington had aligned its benchmark projects with Common Core curriculum.

In addition to the Gold Ribbon, Irvington received the Exemplary Arts Education Program Award for its visual and performing arts program. Currently, more than 1500 students are enrolled in art classes at Irvington. While many schools have shut down their art programs, Irvington has been focused on providing students a well-rounded education. The California Gold Ribbon Schools Awards recognizes educational programs and practices, honoring schools while the California Distinguished Schools Program is on hiatus.

The program is on hiatus as California transitions from the traditional standardized testing and reporting scores to the new assessment and accountability systems. Traditionally, the public schools were honored based on their improvement in student outcomes as measured through the academic performance index. However with the switch from STAR testing to CAASPP testing, there is not enough data to determine improvement. Gold Ribbon Schools Awards are given to schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education and highlight specific exemplary school programs.

“I am incredibly proud that Irvington High School won both the coveted Gold Ribbon and Exemplary Arts Education awards,” Superintendent James Morris said. “The dual awards exemplify the Viking spirit and commitment of the Irvington community to academic excellence and to helping students live balanced lives.These awards help communicate the values of Irvington High School and help the community understand the strong commitment to excellence shared by the Irvington staff and students.”