Other Tri-Valley middle schools to earn the coveted title this year were Mendenhall in Livermore, Fallon in Dublin, and Iron Horse (San Ramon) and Stone Valley (Alamo) in the San Ramon Valley.
In a statement, Pleasanton Middle principal Joe Nguyen called the California Distinguished School honor, "the ultimate honor for schools."
"I'm happy to see our students, staff, and community receive affirmation of all the work and results that make Pleasanton Middle School a great place to learn and grow," Nguyen said.
Principal Terry Brenner said the Harvest Park community is "thrilled to share this recognition with every member of our Harvest Park community."
"This distinction is a testament to the strength and resilience of our staff, students and families," Brenner said.
Both Harvest Park and Pleasanton middle schools have received the Distinguished Schools recognition a total of five times, but haven't been awarded together in the same year since 2005. Harvest Park was most recently named in 2013, and Pleasanton Middle in 2009.
Secondary schools and elementary schools are recognized during alternate years, under the state program.
In the Livermore Valley, Mendenhall principal Tammy Rankin said the award "is a true reflection of all the hard work and dedication that has been put forth by the entire staff."
"The Mendenhall community including staff, students, and families make this a special place," Rankin said. "Those who visit our campus are able to see an environment in which the staff is committed to providing a quality education for our students."
Staff has "made math a priority for all students, those who are struggling, and those who are thriving," according to Rankin, and "want it to be fun and engaging."
A voluntary zero period math intervention program giving students a sneak preview of their regular math class lessons later that day "has been well received and incredibly helpful in improving students' math achievement," allowing them to ask questions and receive feedback and one-on-one help with new materials.
Two other after-school programs have also been useful: the Math Homework Club and the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program.
The 2021 California Distinguished Schools virtual award ceremony will be hosted at a later date, yet to be announced.
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