Granite Hills Receives 2021 California Exemplary Arts Education Award

By Staff Reports

(Apple Valley)– California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond announced on Saturday, April 29th, that Granite Hills High School was one of 33 schools to be chosen for the 2021 California Exemplary Arts Education Award. This award is given to schools who engage students in quality arts education that meets the California Arts Standards for Public Schools and demonstrate progress on indicators on the California School Dashboard. 

Schools must offer sequenced education to all students in at least 3 of the arts disciplines outlined in the California Arts Standards: Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. They also must show at least one level of improvement in one of the following student subgroups on the California School Dashboard: School Climate, in the area of Suspension Rate; Student Engagement, in the area of Chronic Absenteeism or Graduation Rate; Academic Achievement, in the area of English Language Arts, Mathematics, or College and Career Readiness. Granite Hills offers all five of the arts disciplines in the Arts Standards and has shown at least one level of improvement in the Academic Achievement student subgroup, in the area of College and Career Readiness.

“These schools excelled in providing quality arts education, despite all of the obstacles presented by distance learning. It is with great pleasure we honor these schools for their steadfast dedication to arts education that plays a powerful role in supporting wellness, bridging social divides, and expanding creativity and critical thinking in our students,” State Superintendent Thurmond said. 

Granite Hills’ Granite Recording and Entertainment Arts Training (GREAT) Academy encompasses the arts programs and Career Technical Education pathways offered at the high school. GHHS is an Arts, Media and Entertainment Industry Sector Model Demonstration Site for the California Department of Education. 

Principal Chuck McCall says, “The GREAT Academy was conceived four years ago and has developed into the distinguished program that it is today. I am very proud of our teachers and the time and dedication they took to create this outstanding program on our campus.” 

“The GHHS staff identified a unique pathway based on student interest. In a short time, they have developed an Academy that lives up to its name. I congratulate the GHHS GREAT Academy staff and students on this well-deserved Exemplary Arts Education Award!” Apple Valley Unified School District Superintendent Trenae Nelson commented.

California Exemplary Arts Education Schools will be virtually honored later this year. A date has not been announced, yet. 

For more information on the GREAT Academy, visit:

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