State Pathway to Education: PUSD has six of the state’s 10 Distinguished Academy programs

Porterville Unified School District has more of a right — by far — than any other district in the state to give itself the title “California’s Pathway to Education.”

PUSD has six of the state’s 10 Academy programs that have earned 2020 NAF Distinguished status. Each program is assessed by NAF staff and given an overall score based on four categories: academy development and structure, advisory board, curriculum and instruction, and work-based learning.

The six PUSD Pathway programs honored are: Academy of Engineering (AOE) at Harmony Magnet Academy; Academy of Performing Arts (APA) at Harmony Magnet Academy; Emerging Agricultural Technology (EAT) at Strathmore High; School, Law, Justice, and Ethics (LJE) at Granite Hills High School; Porterville Academy of Business and Finance (PAB) at Porterville High School; and Porterville Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS) at Porterville High School.

Harmony Magnet Performing Arts and Engineering Pathways and Porterville High’s Academy of Business and Finance and Academy of Health Sciences also earned Distinguished status in 2019.

To reach distinguished level status, academies must meet all of the thresholds, including the overall score needed and the score needed in all four categories. There are 135 academies in the nation who earned Distinguished status. 

Ninety-one repeated as Distinguished Academies while 44 received the honor for the first time.

“We are pleased to be able to attain and sustain the level of Distinguished status for our pathway program,” Director of PUSD Pathways Cindy Brown said. “The support of PUSD, our community of educators and partners, and national support from the NAF organization, has been essential in this coordinated effort to strive for excellence.”

“This is a great tribute to our dedicated teachers and Pathways staff,” PUSD Board President Lillian Durbin said. “Our students deserve the opportunity to earn the best education possible and the Pathways program enhances their overall educational experience. We are particularly pleased to see programs at Strathmore High and Granite Hills High reach this level of excellence.”

NAF Chief Executive Officer JD Hoye, said, “At a time of great uncertainty and rapid changes in education, we are proud to celebrate these outstanding academies for the work they are doing to support student success. Congratulations on this terrific accomplishment and we look forward to your continued achievements.”

PUSD Pathways Programs are designed to provide an exciting, innovative and powerful learning environment for students. Students can apply what they’re learning in a project-based, “real world application” instructional program. 

By combining demanding career technical training with rigorous academic standards-based teaching, the goal of Pathways is for students to graduate college and career ready with a greater advantage of post-secondary learning options, whether college, technical, or workplace.

NAF is a national network of education, business, and community leaders who work together to ensure high school students are college, career, and future ready. Source: The Porterville Recorder
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