Hill Classical Middle School and Emerson Parkside Academy will accept the California Prospector Award today from the California Council for Excellence. The two schools won the honor for effective use of Malcolm Baldrige continuous improvement strategies. The non-profit California Council for Excellence helps private and public-sector organizations achieve world-class results through Baldrige principles. Baldrige provides a systematic process used by some of the most profitable businesses in the nation. It is based on leadership, strategic planning, stakeholder focus, measurement and analysis, staff focus, process management and results. Today’s awards will be given at the Council’s 11th annual conference in Riverside. Emerson, a charter school, also earned a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education last week. The grant will allow Emerson to share its successful Baldrige implementation methods with nearby Cleveland Elementary School. The latest grant submitted by Emerson’s director, Cynthia Young, brings total grant funding at Emerson to $650,000 in just three years. "The recognition and awards are all due to the dedication, commitment and collaboration of the staff," Young said. "They are working together, using data to make instructional decisions, and that’s why our school is making gains." The Baldrige process is named after Malcolm Baldrige, who from 1981 to 1987 was U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Visit www.calexcellence.org for more information about the California Council for Excellence.