Nine LA County Schools Honored by CDE with the California Exemplary Arts Awards

Tue Feb 07 19:07:00 PST 2023

DOWNEY, CA – LACOE Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo congratulates the nine schools from LA County named as winners of the prestigious California Exemplary Arts Education Arts Awards.

The Awards were announced by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and the California Department of Education (CDE) on January 24. 

The CDE announced 19 overall, state-wide award recipients and the LA County award winners included: 

From Burbank Unified School District: 

  • Joaquin Miller Elementary 
  • William McKinley Elementary 
  • Providencia Elementary School
  • Thomas Edison Elementary 

From Compton Unified School District:

  • Washington Elementary 

From Los Angeles Unified School District: 

  • The Humanities and Arts (HARTS) Academy of Los Angeles 
  • Maywood Center for Enriched Studies 
  • South Shores/California State University Dominguez Hills Visual and Performing Arts 
  • Walter Reed Middle School 

Each of the winning schools demonstrated an exemplary commitment to providing resources and funding for arts education. This includes high-quality arts curriculum and instruction, assessment and professional learning for arts education staff. In addition, these schools offer culturally responsive arts instruction for all students, including English learners, special education students, and other special populations. 

“Congratulations to these outstanding schools and the dedicated teachers and staff who consistently deliver the highest quality arts education to all their students," Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Debra Duardo said. “This exemplary work broadens the understanding of cultures within our communities. I commend these students and teachers for highlighting the importance of arts education.”

To qualify for the award, schools must offer instruction in a minimum of three arts disciplines such as dance, media arts, music, theatre and/or visual arts during the regular school day and show that special populations have equal opportunities to access these programs.  

 “Arts education boosts school attendance, academic achievement, and college attendance rates. Arts programs also improve school climate and promote higher self-esteem and social-emotional development for our students,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond said. 

 The schools will be celebrated at the California School Recognition Program Ceremony in Anaheim in February. This is the first year that elementary, middle, and high schools—including all direct-funded charter schools, juvenile court community schools, and alternative schools of choice—could apply for this award in the same year. More information about the Exemplary Arts Education Award is here. 

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The Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE) is the nation's largest regional education agency. LACOE supports and protects the education and well-being of LA County's nearly two million children through an equity lens. For more information, visit