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Sweetwater UHSD continues to set an example

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With more than 39,000 students enrolled in grades seven through 12 and another 30,000 adult learners, the Sweetwater Union High School District is California's largest secondary school district. Sweetwater schools are cutting-edge examples of going beyond traditional thinking to boost student achievement.

Nineteen district schools have earned Distinguished School status from the California Department of Education.

And - for the fourth consecutive year - a Sweetwater high school has taken top honors in San Diego County's Academic Decathlon competition. Southwest High broke Hilltop High's three-year winning streak. Sweetwater schools ranked first, second and third in the event.

The California School Boards Association has recognized Sweetwater's innovation in education with an unprecedented 19 Golden Bell awards - making the district tops in the state in the number of Golden Bells earned, and the only California district to win the association's top awards nine years in a row.

And Sweetwater is growing by leaps and bounds as well. The district's two newest state-of-the-art campuses are now in their second year. EastLake Middle and Otay Ranch High opened their doors for the first time in July 2003 and have already done their part to continue the district's tradition of excellence.

A recent release of Academic Performance Index scores shows that EastLake Middle students are performing at top-notch levels, taking the lead as the first district school to earn an API of over 800.

Plans are already underway for future schools in the district, with High School Number 13 slated to open in July 2006. Existing schools are undergoing a great deal of change as well. Proposition BB funds have paved the way for major modernization efforts at most Sweetwater schools. Because of leveraged funds and forward thinking, Prop BB renovations should be complete by 2007 - a full nine years earlier than anticipated.

Rounding out the top-quality learning opportunities offered by the Sweetwater District are four adult and continuing education campuses - Chula Vista, Montgomery, National City and San Ysidro Adult schools. More than 50 community-based classrooms at these four sites make lifelong learning accessible to all, further connecting parents and their teenage students as they learn together.

Submitted by Sweetwater Union High School District

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