High academic achievements earn award

Middle College High School earns Gold Ribbon for excel- lence

By Jessica Suico, Advocate Staff

Middle College High School (MCHS) has won the 2017 California Gold Ribbon Schools Award for increasing students’ exposure to college-level courses.

Earlier this month MCHS Principal Finy Prak was recognized and received the Gold Ribbon Award in Santa Clara, for MCHS’ accomplishments.

Prak said MCHS won the award because students scored high on the Smarter Balance Assessment Consortium (SBAC) test, a standardized test. The California Gold Ribbon Award was created to honor middle and high schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools program. This year 477 schools applied.

MCHS has been a part of Contra Costa College since 1989 and is located on campus, primarily in the Applied Arts Building.

Middle College was recognized for its collaboration with CCC to create an early college and high school program that allows its students to enroll in college courses concurrently with their high school courses.

The 2017 Gold Ribbon schools will be honored during May at regional ceremonies in Costa Mesa, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, Visalia and Sacramento.

Prak said, “I had a very nice time at the awards ceremony and I got to take a picture with state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.”

She said she received a pin, plaque and a banner for the accomplishment of winning the award.

Prak said it was a great experience.

MCHS teacher Margret Love said, “There are 284 students enrolled in our program.”

Love said the majority of MCHS students will graduate with their associate degrees and be able to transfer immediately.

“I get to teach the best students in the world and watch them grow and become adults,” she said.

MCHS has a graduation rate of 100 percent and 90.5 percent of the students graduate eligible to attend a UC or CSU campus, according to www.wccusd.net.

MCHS is a school that represents an example of excellent teaching, learning and collaboration.

Second semester MCHS student Nanthaya Verweij said, “I am really happy about the program winning the (Gold Ribbon) award. I really like this school. There is more pressure on us to do our work, so I think it makes me try harder.”

Verweij said, “I wouldn’t say the award gives me more motivation to do better in school because you should always work hard. But I’m happy and proud about it.”

Torlakson said, in a California Department of Education news release on April 18, “These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st century careers and college. I look forward to traveling the state to honor these schools and to help share the programs’ methods and techniques, that are working.”