Anaheim Union High School District schools among those recognized for civics

Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) schools will receive the top 2020 Civic Learning Awards, co-sponsored by Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. In its eighth year, the awards program recognizes K-12 public schools, celebrating their strong civics curriculum in school and service-learning projects in their communities.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye will visit three schools to present the Award of Excellence, the top award given to one elementary, middle, and high school in the state. This year, the top awards go to:

La Costa Heights Elementary School, San Diego County

At La Costa Heights, fifth graders picked a state bill to research and advocate for with their state legislators. Students chose to focus on pay equity with Assembly Bill 271 and presented their findings and recommendations to lawmakers. Students also helped design and install 40 environmentally friendly drop boxes in the community for voters to cast absentee ballots. The school has received the Award of Distinction and the Award of Merit in previous years. This is the first year it received the Award of Excellence.

South Junior High School, Orange County

Students at South Junior prepare and deliver two-minute “soapbox” speeches that include a call to action on issues of importance, such as the death penalty, gun laws, and college tuition. They later deliver their speeches before a panel of local judges. The school also created its own “Soapbox Night,” giving students the opportunity to present issues they are passionate about in a public platform.

Savanna High School, Orange County

All students participate in the Raising Student Voice and Participation program at Savanna High School. Over the course of a year, each class identifies and seeks solutions to a problem on campus. In Economics classes, students use Google Maps to choose a vacant lot and create a video to pitch a valuable project for the community. Government class students can train as poll workers and many work 15-hour shifts on election day.

In addition to the three Awards of Excellence schools, six schools received the Award of Distinction, which will be presented personally by members of the judiciary. This year’s Award of Distinction schools are:

  • Park Dale Lane Elementary, San Diego County
  • San Marino Elementary, Orange County
  • Natomas Pacific Pathways Middle/High School Charter, Sacramento County
  • Walker Junior High, Orange County
  • Pacific High School, San Bernardino County
  • Loara High School, Orange County

In addition to the top nine schools, 66 schools received the Award of Merit., including the following AUHSD schools:

  • Anaheim High School
  • Ball Junior High
  • Brookhurst Junior High
  • Dale Junior High
  • Katella High School
  • Kennedy High School
  • Orangeview Junior High
  • Oxford Academy
  • Sycamore Junior High
  • Western High School

Last year, Cypress High School and Lexington Junior High School won the Civic Learning Award of Excellence so they were exempt from applying for the next three years, having won the highest honor the previous year.

Finally, if you are interested in learning more about AUHSD civic learning, please read Superintendent Matsuda’s article recently published in Education Week focusing on student voice and civic engagement: ED Week Article

About the Anaheim Union High School District

The Anaheim Union High School District serves approximately 30,000 students in the communities of Anaheim, Cypress, Buena Park, La Palma, and Stanton. For more information about AUHSD visit our website, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and follow us on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The article above was released by Anaheim Union High School District.