Diablo View Middle School named California Distinguished School

Diablo View Middle School named California Distinguished School

Diablo View Middle School named California Distinguished School
The aptly named Diablo View Middle School in Clayton let out last Friday with sixth, seventh and eighth grade students headed home at the end of the week knowing their school has been named a California Distinguished School for the fourth time. (Jay Bedecarré photo)

CLAYTON, CA (Mar. 20, 2024) — First-year Diablo View Middle School principal Vicki Wilson was excited to find out that her school was one of seven in Contra Costa County to be named a 2024 California Distinguished School.

Wilson was thrilled about the honor but also quite surprised because she didn’t know the school was under consideration. “Diablo View Middle School is extremely honored and humbled to learn that we were selected to receive the Distinguished School Award from the State of California,” she said.”

This recognition is a testament to the hard work, dedication and unwavering commitment of our entire school community—students, teachers, staff, parents and supporters alike.”

30 years

Diablo View opened for the 1993-94 school year and just celebrated its 30th year during the 2022-23 term.

The Clayton school currently has a total of 517 students in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades. At one time enrollment exceeded 800 but the housing market crash in 2007 and then the more recent effects of COVID-19 resulted in an enrollment drop which Wilson says has now settled in at just over 500 students.

Following the pandemic, many families decided to home school their children and a significant number moved out of state, a Diablo View staff member told the Pioneer.

This is the fourth time Diablo View has won the Distinguished School honor, previously earning the award in 2001, 2007 and 2013. It was also named a California Gold Ribbon School in 2017.

Wilson added that the honor “reinforces our belief in the importance of providing a nurturing and empowering learning environment where every student can thrive academically, socially and emotionally. This recognition affirms our dedication to fostering academic excellence, fostering a culture of inclusivity and preparing our students to become lifelong learners and responsible citizens.”

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the honorees.

Celebrating schools

The other Contra Costa schools to gain the designation included Acalanes and Miramonte high schools in the Acalanes Union High School District, M.H. Stanley Middle School in Lafayette School District, Martinez Junior High in Martinez Unified School District, Pine Valley Middle School in San Ramon Valley Unified School District, and Middle College High in West Contra Costa Unified School District.

In all, 293 middle and high schools throughout the state recieved the prestigious award. Elementary schools and middle and high schools gain recognition in alternate years; therefore, awardees hold the title for two years.

“Congratulations to the students, teachers and staff at each of these schools,” Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey said. “These exceptional schools are examples of the excellent public education available to students in our county and should be celebrated for their innovation, talent and success in supporting students.”

To select California Distinguished Schools, the California Department of Education uses multiple measures to identify eligible schools based on their performance on the state indicators as specified on the California School Dashboard.

Specifically, the organization selected schools by analyzing data reported through the 2023 Dashboard, with a focus on demonstrating excellence and growth in academic achievement and ensuring a positive school climate.

Schools received recognition for exceptional student performance based on achieving exemplary performance in English Language Arts and math, reducing suspensions and demonstrating high graduation rates (high schools only).

Jay Bedecarré
Jay Bedecarré
Sports and Schools Editor at The Concord Clayton Pioneer | sports@pioneerpublishers.com | Website

Jay Bedecarré is a long-time resident and writer in Concord and Clayton. He began his newspaper writing career while still a senior at Mt. Diablo High School and he has been part of The Pioneer since its inception in 2003. Jay also operates Bay Area Festivals, presenting events around the San Francisco Bay Area including Bay Area KidFest annually in Downtown Concord.