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Fontana Unified’s Summit High School Named a 2021 California Distinguished School

Summit High School

FONTANA, CA – Summit High School has been named a 2021 California Distinguished School, celebrating its success in boosting student achievement, attaining strong graduation rates and fostering college and career readiness. 

The California Distinguished School award is the state’s top honor for high-achieving schools. Given to 241 middle and high schools this year, the award recognizes schools for their excellent work in closing the achievement gap and achieving exceptional student performance.

“I am overjoyed that Summit High School has earned its first-ever California Distinguished School award, and I am exceptionally proud of all our teachers and staff,” Principal Renee Castanon said. “This honor would not have been possible without their unparalleled dedication to serving our students and supporting them as they pursue their personal and academic goals.”

The California Department of Education (CDE) identified and awarded eligible schools based on performance and progress on state indicators specified on the California School Dashboard, the state’s accountability and continuous improvement system. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and conditions and climate.

Summit High School fosters a culture of positivity and high achievement, providing support and encouragement to students even before they step on campus. Incoming freshmen are equipped for success through offerings like Summer Bridge and Link Crew, which help ease the transition to high school through peer mentorship, social-emotional support and intervention. 

Summit’s Golden Bell Award-winning Link Crew program calls on juniors and seniors to serve as mentors to incoming freshmen, providing a variety of academic and social support services to help struggling freshmen.

The school also fosters lasting student achievement with the support of its robust counseling department, which helps students develop and refine individualized four-year plans, outlining their path to graduation. Counselors also support Summit’s college-going culture by providing guidance on the college application process and arranging college visits and financial aid workshops.

Students also benefit from a comprehensive Advanced Placement (AP) program, featuring 24 courses in which they have the opportunity to gain college credit, and an Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program that aims to increase the college-going rate to four-year universities and equips students with tools for academic and professional success.

Summit’s comprehensive approach to student achievement and wealth of intervention strategies have also yielded a graduation rate above 94 percent, maintained from 2016-17 through 2018-19 – the most recent year of data available on the California School Dashboard.

Additionally, Summit High promotes career readiness through a robust career technical education (CTE) program. Students gain valuable hands-on experience in pathways such as mechatronics, ethical hacking, games and simulation, cyber forensics, international business, film and video production, multimedia design and more.

The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes middle and high schools in alternate years with elementary schools. Schools earning the designation keep it for two years.

This year’s California Distinguished Schools will be formally recognized by the CDE with a virtual awards ceremony in the near future.

“We are proud of Summit High School for continuing to find new ways to boost achievement and provide our students with a world-class education,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “This recognition is a testament to the commitment of our Fontana Unified teachers and staff, and the hard work of our outstanding students.”