Grossmont High School recognized by California Department of Education

Courtesy Photo.

For 98 years, Grossmont High School had taken pride in its outstanding academic and athletic programs and its nurturing of students’ well-being.

Over the past ten years, Grossmont has been frequently recognized by the California Department of Education for its efforts to improve all aspects of school life.

In February 2019, Principal Dan Barnes told the staff, “Congratulations on being recognized for the third time as a California Distinguished School! We qualified to apply due to our success in all five areas of the California School Dashboard Rating of its schools: Suspension Rate, Graduation Rate, College and Career Placement, ELA testing, and Math testing.”

In 2009, Grossmont High School was first selected as a California Distinguished School.

Additionally, two programs within the school were also honored as California Distinguished Programs: the Career Technical Education Program and the Visual and Performing Arts Program, which was the first in San Diego County to receive this award.

In 2013, Grossmont High School was again recognized as a California Distinguished School, this time for its strong commitment and innovative approaches to improving student academic achievement.

(That same year in June, Grossmont was also honored by the California Department of Education as a winner of an Exemplary Award, which recognized schools that, in addition to high academic achievement indicated by their Distinguished School qualifications, have committed time and resources to broad-based arts education programs that strengthen students’ creativity and encourage their personal interests.)

In 2017 GHS received the Gold Ribbon School Award for the excellence of its student academic and emotional school-wide support programs, including GHS PRIDE (Prepared, Respectful, Involved, Disciplined, Empathetic), GRC (Grossmont Resource Center), Mentors, G-Crew (Student Support Leaders), ASB, and for providing unlimited opportunities in and out of the classroom for students to reach their full potential.

Grossmont was the only school in the district to be recognized this year and Helix was the only other school eligible to apply.

“We were one of only four schools highlighted at the top of the State Superintendent’s list,” said Barnes. “In our application, we focused on our program of Social and Emotional Learning and Support through PRIDE and the GRC. It’s very exciting to be a standout.”

In State Superintendent Tony Thurmond’s announcement of this year’s awards, he said, “Grossmont High School implemented a social and emotional learning program to support the needs of students through leadership, celebrations, rituals, traditions, and emotional learning.

To better support social and emotional learning, the school established behavioral interventions such as a time-out reflection room that provides an immediate consequence combined with a reflection on problem behaviors. As an alternative intervention to detention or a referral, students can be sent to this room by a teacher to reflect on their behavior.”

The school’s recent results from the California Healthy Kids Survey – School Climate Report Card show that these efforts are having an impact on campus.

“The school climate index has increased over the past three years with a score of 343 in 2017, 332 in 2018, and 356 in 2019,” said Thurmond. “Scores on this survey also showed a lowering of violence, substance abuse, harassment, and bullying. Intervention referrals received by staff and counselors have also increased over time, as well as those connected to therapeutic services and participation in support groups.”

As Principal Dan Barnes told the staff, “Keep up the great work that you all take part in every day. You make our community very proud!

To learn more about Foothillers past and present, visit the Museum 12-3:30 p.m. April 3rd or by appointment. Contact Information: or 619-668-6140. Website: