2 Reedley schools named California Distinguished Schools

REEDLEY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Two Reedley high schools are taking top honors in the state.

Reedley High School and Reedley Middle College High School have been added to the list of 2021 California Distinguished Schools.

This is the first time any high schools in the Kings Canyon Unified Schools District have been chosen as a California Distinguished School.

It recognizes schools for their hard work and exceptional student performances.

"This was a complete shock this year, especially given the last year things have just been odd so we weren't on the lookout for a California Distinguished School Award," said Reedley Middle College High School principal Ron Pack.

The historic win is a big first for the district.

"We have not ever won it, in fact no high schools in our district have ever won that award," added Pack.

Located on the Reedley College Campus, Reedley Middle College High School gives students an opportunity for dual enrolment.

"It means that kids come in 9th-grade taking college classes and by the end of their senior year the idea is that they would have finished their college degree, their undergrad degree and their diploma at the same time," added Pack.

Just a few blocks away is Reedley High School, home to roughly 1,600 students.

"Truth be told, this is the first time Reedley High School has accomplished this," said Reedley High principal John Ahlin. "It's a huge boost for the community, the school, the staff and teachers."

Just over 200 schools have been named California Distinguished Schools. They're selected based on test scores, graduation rates and overall climate.

"It really starts with our elementary schools, our middle schools building that foundation, so that when students reach Reedley High School they're prepared," said Ahlin.

"It's just a good example of the work our district does," added Ahlin. "We almost didn't skip a beat when school closed back in March of 2020, literally the next week we were back at it."

In Fresno County, four other high schools were recognized as distinguished schools - Clovis North High School, Design Science Middle College High School, Phillip J. Patino School of Entrepreneurship and University High School.
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