FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A special recognition for a Fresno Unified School.
Manchester GATE was recently named in the top 10 Best Elementary Schools in California based on its performance on state tests, graduation and preparing students for high school.
The magnet school was recently ranked number four by U.S. News & World Report.
"We were really excited for the recognition." Manchester GATE Principal Janet Gengozian said.
Gengozian says it's not just the recognition, it's the fact the school was ranked so high despite going up against other large districts such as San Diego, Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
According to the report, 94% of students at Manchester GATE scored at or above proficient level for math and 96% scored at or above proficient level for reading.
She says the students are challenged at school, and supported when necessary.
'It's a combination of high expectations along with that social emotional learning piece and just bridging those together." Gengozian said.
Sixth grade student Wesley Hicks says he enjoys tackling hard concepts.
"Because you don't know it you kind of want to strive to be able to know it, you want to be smarter so you can just know everything." Hicks said.
Hicks says the teachers also help them to succeed.
John Figura, the technology lab teacher says he works to keep up with the latest technology so he can pass it on to students.
He then works with other teachers to ensure those subjects are reinforced in other classes.
Figura says hands-on learning is part of the reason he thinks Manchester GATE has been so successful.
"It's not just learning out of the book, but it's also taking the experience."
Beyond academics, the school has plenty of extracurricular activities students can take part in like sports and clubs.
Sixth Grader Emma Ordaz joined the string orchestra and choir. She says the school has helped her grow since she joined in third grade.
"It has helped me thrive and do great and it's -- it's an awesome school." Ordaz said.
Despite the new distinction, Principal Gengozian says the school won't get complacent. They're going to continue to adapt and change as necessary to keep students on the best path forward.
"Our goal is just to make sure that the kids are successful, happy and becoming well-rounded citizens." Gengozian said.