Hollister High School was recently notified that it is one of 68 schools nationwide and one of just three in California to be named a Special Olympics National Banner Unified Champion School for demonstrating an ongoing commitment to inclusion. For the past four years, SBHS has been recognized as a Unified Champion School, but the national recognition is a first. According to the Special Olympics, a Unified Champion School has “an inclusive school climate and exudes a sense of collaboration, engagement and respect for all members of the student body and staff.” Schools that receive national banner recognition, as SBHS has this year, have “demonstrated a commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 national standards of excellence” developed by a national panel of leaders from Special Olympics and the education community. The expectation of this recognition is that the 10 standards are “continuously being met, year after year.”
For the third year in a row, Hollister High School has been ranked as a “Best High School” by U.S. News & World Report, which measures how well schools serve students from various social and economic backgrounds. HHS is ranked in the top quarter of schools nationally (4,281 out of 17,857 schools), is ranked 40th among San Jose metro area high schools and is 644th out of 1,675 ranked schools in the state. The latest recognition continues to showcase the academic and student focus of HHS, which for the past three years has been named an Honor Roll School by the Educational Results Partnership, was designated an Advanced Placement District Honor Roll School in 2020, was awarded a full, six-year accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and has been recognized by the Special Olympics as a Unified Champion School for four years in a row. HHS Principal Adrian Ramirez said, “With all that our students, families and staff have had to endure this past year, to be recognized for a third year in a row is a testament to our collective resilience. I am proud of our teachers and support staff for making socio-emotional teaching, learning and support a priority for all students.” Ramirez lauded “The unsung heroes this past year have been our classified employees. They should be especially recognized, as they have fulfilled so many roles that continue to be critical to safety and the re-engagement of students. Lastly, we thank our students and families for navigating the conditions of learning during the pandemic. We are blessed to serve a community that supports us the way this community does.” HHS Superintendent Dr. Shawn Tennenbaum noted, “On behalf of the Board of Trustees, administration, educators and classified staff, we are so proud to once again be recognized for our collective efforts to ensure all students’ needs are met in and out of the classroom. As we continue to strive to improve the educational experience for each and every one of our students, this recognition validates and reinforces our direction as a school district. We are very grateful to all of our administrators, educators, support staff, classified staff, parents and students for their continued support and trust. San Benito High School District is fortunate to receive such outstanding support from a wonderful community and our focus moving forward will be to build upon our positive momentum and further improve the school environment for all students.”
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