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A California Distinguished School

A California Distinguished School

What is a California Distinguished School?

A California Distinguished School is an award given by the California State Board of Education to public schools within the state that best represent exemplary and quality educational programs. Approximately five percent of California schools are awarded this honor each year following a rigorous selection process. Eligibility is based on federal and state criteria including the No Child Left Behind program, Academic Performance Index (API), and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).

The program was established in 1985 and alternates each year between elementary (even years) and secondary (odd years) schools. The award is valid for four years.

To see the list of schools awarded this honor going back to 1986, see Distinguished School Awards.

About Pepper Tree


Pepper Tree is the newest of Upland’s ten elementary schools, built in 1991. We are situated in the foothills below Mt. Baldy, approximately 35 miles east of Los Angeles, California.
Pepper Tree is home to 32 regular education classes encompassing kindergarten through sixth grade, a resource specialist program, an EL instructor, a full-time speech and language specialist, and is also the home of the district’s home school program.
We are the largest school in the district with approximately 770 students and the largest district-run daycare program employing a coordinator and four assistants to serve the before and after needs of Pepper Tree’s student population.
In 2004, due to its fine academic program. Pepper Tree was named a California Distinguished School.
Due to continued academic growth and program enrichment Pepper Tree again was named a California Distinguished School in 2008 and will hold the title a full eight years.