The Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to honor schools in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program, which is on hiatus while California creates new assessment and accountability systems. This award recognizes California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards.
Twenty-five of the district's campuses have received California's highest award for excellence, the State Distinguished School. Earning the designation as a State Distinguished School means completing a rigorous evaluation that includes academic achievement, quality of instruction, school leadership, parent involvement, and school-community partnerships.
Glendale's reputation also attracts excellent teachers and other professionals. People want to come and work in the district. One indicator is that Glendale Schools have placed more teachers in the semi-finals of the California Teachers of the Year program during the past 12 years than any other district of comparable size in the state.