Five Santa Barbara County Schools Named California Distinguished Schools

By the Santa Barbara County Education Office

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond has announced that five Santa Barbara County elementary schools have been named 2023 California Distinguished Schools by the California Department of Education (CDE).  The Distinguished Schools program returned this year, after a temporary suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2023, only elementary schools were eligible in California. Awardees will hold the title for two years.

Santa Barbara County’s 2023 Distinguished Schools are:

  • Cold Spring School in the Cold Spring School District
  • Foothill Elementary School in the Goleta Union School District
  • Kellogg Elementary School in the Goleta Union School District
  • Mountain View Elementary School in the Goleta Union School District
  • Peabody Charter School in the Santa Barbara Unified School District

“We are proud of the exceptional education programs and practices demonstrated by these schools. This award highlights their outstanding work, and we are thrilled their incredible efforts have been recognized by the California Department of Education,” said Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido. “Congratulations to the students, families, and staff!”

The Distinguished Schools program recognizes schools based on their performance and progress on the state indicators, such as test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate, as specified by the California School Dashboard.

Every year, two California Distinguished Schools are also eligible to be recognized as a National Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Distinguished Schools awardee.

The 2023 California School Recognition Program Awards Ceremony will take place on Feb. 16, 2023.

Read State Superintendent Tony Thurmond’s announcement at:


Written by SBCEO

Press releases written by the Santa Barbara County Office of Education. Learn more at

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  1. Not one regular Santa Barbara elementery school listed. Why? Because they are failing our children. Only about 50% of SB City elementery school kids have a grasp of English or Math. English is the international language, not Spanish! The SB School District has done one thing well: It has become a springboard for local Democrats to further their political careers.
    Both Laura Capps and Monique Limon dumped their duty to our children and quit the school board part way into their terms on the board. Both of these women have the
    sheer guts to say that they “care for our chil;dren”? They care only for their own political careers! Prove I am wrong, ladies!

  2. Senator Monique Limon has and continues to work hard for our children. She helped get bill SB 237 through the senate. This bill was about getting screeners to test for students struggling to read and intervening. It never got out of assembly and was fought by the teachers union. Screeners are part of a proactive approach that would keep 70% students out of special ed which costs districts 4x more. Capps has only been a county supervisor for a month or so.

  3. Shameful that no standard SBUnified schools were on this list. Super shameful! I don’t put the blame solely on the local small town politicians. The whole school system is full of politicians and ladder climbers who don’t really care about teaching kids and smoke screen the community with educational jargon and hope the kids catch up eventually. It’s pathetic and old and high time people stand up and demand more.

  4. Sbsurferlife, Touting numbers of bills authored in the Legislature is definitely not a measure of accomplishing anything meaningful and just may indicate the opposite. We have thousands of laws on the books and many of those are unnecessary, unfunded, unenforced, outdated. Part of our problem is that we have a legislature that meets too often and legislators think that they should control our lives through the authoring of more restrictive laws. We would all be better off without people like Limon racking up more restrictions.

  5. When an elementary school is predominately low-income Hispanic, language is a problem. Highly ranked schools have involved parents who can help kids with their homework and speak English at home as well as their native language. Parent-teacher meeting are fully attended; kids with problems of any nature, including brain issues like autism and ADHD, and transportation to tutoring are identified early and help made available. This county is almost 50:50 European:Hispanic gene pool; in the age groups under 18, Hispanic is the majority. This age group is the future. Early education is crucial if we want to see Hispanic names start to appear on the donation lists not need-assistance lists. If little kids get good primary educations, they’re on the path to can get further education and better jobs. They aren’t stuck in doldrums that encourage crime and in dispair, substance abuse and violence. Many government and front office jobs already require bilingal Spanish and English. Successful applicants need to be fluent in both. That’s the reality. You can argue whether that’s what you want, but your time would be better spent seeing that all kids become enabled to be a credit not a debit in the future. Don’t you want to see some Hispanic names on donation lists not only need lists?

  6. 1853: Listen to podcast by Emily Hanford if you want to understand what is needed to have latinex students, students with learning differences , foster youth and those with economic hardship learn to read. The science of reading is evidenced based and focuses on teaching decoding.. breaking up words and teaching the sound letter correlation through 5 basic areas: phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency and vocabulary. Balanced literacy heavily promoted by Lucy Calkins is based on the cueing system which is basically guessing at a word from pictures or context. 40% of students will learn to read even with this failed approach but the other 60% of students will not. They need an explicit, sequential approach focused on decoding. Lucy Calkins loves to repackage her dismal program to keep get millions and millions a year. 22 states banned it. Even Mississippi which has high poverty( like California) banned it years ago and is now the only state to show reading gains during the pandemic. Emily Hanford explains it all in “Sold a Story” also google Lucy Calkins New York times . She is back peddling on her own program. Besides using a science of reading approach successful districts use a proactive approach which includes screening early in 1st grade for all readers, teacher training in science or reading because currently teachers don’t learn this in their colleges. That is changing though, by 2025 teachers will be trained in colleges in this successful method. Lastly we need intensive interventions early for all who struggle. 95% reading proficiency is possible if we follow these steps but sadly politics and the teachers union is not fully supporting this yet so it needs to come from the public demand. Soon only half the students reading proficiently won’t be acceptable. Remember when it was acceptable to smoke on airplanes and restaurants, or have a few drinks and drive… None of that is happening now. And similarly 50 % proficiency for students will not be acceptable to parents or communities because it hurts us all.

  7. If you think those only take a few minutes to draft and pass you have no idea how our government operates. I don’t have the space here, time, nor desire to go through each and every one of the bills she touched, but no, not all were just “feel good” bills that simply consume resources without actually producing anything, most were, but no not every last one.

  8. VOICE – not what I asked. I asked “Why do intentionally ignore the influential and larger bills she passed?”
    Obviously I was exaggerating, but that’s not the point. I want to know why you ignored all the larger, more complex bills she authored and only chose to mention a couple RESOLUTIONS, not legislation. LOL….. yeah, I’m the one who doesn’t know how government operates. Resolutions are not laws. Source: junior high civics.

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