Merrill F. West High School was recognized in 2003 by the California Distinguished Schools Program

Distinguished Schools
Distinguished Schools selections are based on research and criteria that address all areas of a school's educational program, its learning environment, and the level of public confidence as demonstrated by family and community participation. The criteria represent a set of quality statements that reflect educational research and best practices, State Board of Education policies, current legislation, and the consensus of the education community regarding the common elements that should be present in exemplary middle and high schools. These elements include:
  • High academic expectations for all students based on California’s state-adopted standards and performance levels
  • Visionary and collaborative school leadership committed to excellence and high expectations for all students
  • Regular and systematic monitoring of student progress by using a variety of assessment techniques
  • A strong core curriculum in all required subject areas
  • State Board-adopted and standards-aligned textbooks and core curriculum materials provided to all students
  • Varied teaching strategies that provide challenging learning experiences for all students
  • Strong library media services and appropriate technology that supports learning activities
  • Academically competent and caring teachers, and strong professional development that is aligned to standards-based instructional materials and evaluated based upon student progress
  • Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs for all students
  • Multiple learning support services for students who are learning the English language, who have physical or learning disabilities, and who have not yet reached proficiency
  • Support for student learning through family involvement and partnerships with business and community groups
  • Safe school culture that supports the inclusion of all students and promotes positive character traits, such as caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility, and trustworthiness; and proactive policies and programs that prevent bullying
  • Programs that foster wellness and healthy behaviors in all students
  • Well-maintained learning environment that communicates the importance of education in our society