Carl Hankey Elementary's Distinguished Status Honored at Ceremony

Carl Hankey School celebrates its recognition as a 2012 California Distinguished Elementary School.

is a distinguished school, and they're happy to celebrate it. About 400 people attended Carl Hankey School’s California Distinguished School dedication recently. 

The distinguished school award was . Although Carl Hankey also has a middle school for grades 6-8, only elementary schools were eligible for the 2012 California Distinguished School honor, as the program recognizes elementary and secondary schools on alternating years.

The June 6 celebration featured Carl Hankey’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program, one of the school’s two signature practices that led to its Distinguished School status. Beginning at 5 p.m., attendants were invited to participate in activities centered on the IB “learner profiles”—10 tenets central to the philosophy of the IB program.

Check out photos of the big celebration above.

“[The IB program] encourages a scholar approach to concepts and ideas and helps kids become more global in their thinking,” said Jordy Jahn, VP Programs of Carl Hankey’s PTA.

The PTA, along with the Carl Hankey International Education Foundation, an independent, nonprofit organization that supports Carl Hankey’s IB program, organized the event.

Activities were organized and executed by the middle school students in Carl Hankey’s IB Technology class. According to Jahn, these student-coordinated activities provided a “hands-on opportunity to experience the profiles” and were geared toward elementary school children, although adults were welcome to participate as well.

Following the learner profile activities, a recognition ceremony was held at 5:45 p.m., attended by distinguished guests, parents, staff and students. The ceremony included speeches from Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Julie Hatchel, Mission Viejo City Councilman Dave Leckness, and Principal of Carl Hankey School Dana Aguilera.

Aguilera said: “This recognition is due to the hard work and enthusiasm of a special group of people—your teachers—whose dedication and commitment to providing our students with a quality learning environment were the catalysts that made this award a possibility.”

The IB curriculum is taught to all students by teachers trained in Academic Design and Delivery and Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, a district-wide initiative that “gives teachers the tools to help all kids learn,” according to Aguilera.

The Intervention program, Carl Hankey’s second signature practice, serves to support the IB program through academic reinforcement.

Aguilera explained, “The Intervention program is like a booster shot – it gives an extra piece of help for students struggling to learn basic concepts [of the IB curriculum].”

In a statement, CUSD School Board President Gary Pritchard said:

“The Board of Trustees are very proud of Carl Hankey K-8 School’s Distinguished School Award. Principal Aguilera has done a wonderful job leading the school in developing a rigorous and innovative instructional model. Congratulations to the children, parents, teachers, and staff on their accomplishment. Go Hawks!”


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