Middle College named a California Distinguished School

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San Bernardino City Unified School District’s Middle College High School (MCHS) has been named a California Distinguished School.

“What an honor to be selected as a California Distinguished School for 2021,” MCHS Principal James Espinoza said. “We couldn’t have achieved this level of distinction nor been able to sustain and expand successes for our MCHS community scholars without leadership from the top and support for our learning model. We are also so appreciative of the commitment of our scholars, their families, and our selfless and talented teachers and staff, not to mention our amazing partners from San Bernardino Valley College.”

MCHS previously earned a Distinguished School Award in 2007. The school is also a National Blue Ribbon School honoree, an AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction, and a California Coalition of Early and Middle Colleges (CCEMC) Signature Practice School of Distinction.

Since opening in 2001, Middle College has offered SBCUSD high school students a chance to take both high school and community college courses at the same time, with the potential to earn an associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school. Unlike most of the other SBCUSD high schools, MCHS does not have traditional attendance boundaries. Students apply to attend the high school, which is located right next to San Bernardino Valley College. Although any SBCUSD student may apply, MCHS targets students who would be the first in their family to attend college, have good attendance, and who show high academic potential that they are not currently meeting.

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The MCHS Class of 2021 boasts a 100 percent graduation rate, 8 valedictorians, 3 Dell Scholarship Award winners, 3 RIMS AVID Scholarship Award winners, and an average of 55 college credits earned by graduates. In fact, 58 percent of the Class of 2021 will graduate high school with both a diploma and an associate’s degree.

“I want to thank California for celebrating the achievements of our MCHS scholars and stakeholders as we move forward in expanding college readiness, industry preparedness, global leading, and life-long learning,” Espinoza said. “We will continue to close the gap as we fulfill our MCHS motto, Carpe Diem, along with our District guiding principle, Making Hope Happen!”

The California Distinguished School Award is given to schools for exceptional student performance, as indicated by the student data collected for the California School Dashboard. Middle College’s 2019 Dashboard results show the average math score for all students was 30.6 points above the standard. Additionally, students, as a group, scored 86.4 points above the state standard in English/language arts.

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