District’s LCAP Strikes ‘Golden Bell’

District’s LCAP Strikes ‘Golden Bell’
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The Chula Vista Elementary School District has been chosen as a recipient of one of the state’s leading educational honors, the Golden Bell Award. The Golden Bell awards, now in their 39th year, are sponsored by the California School Boards Association to recognize outstanding public school programs for innovation, sustainability and best practices that facilitate positive student outcomes.

CVESD received its award at a recognition reception and ceremony on November 29 at CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in San Francisco.

LCAP in Action logoCVESD was honored for its LCAP in Action, in the category of “Closing the Opportunity Gap through LCAP Implementation.” The District has made exceptional strides in student achievement through strategically developed goals and services that place teacher collaboration and teacher professional development as crucial pivots in meeting the needs of diverse students. This approach was reflected in the District’s Instructional Focus Statement, and backed through its Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).

“We are deeply honored to be recognized with a Golden Bell,” said Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D. “Our LCAP reflects the priorities of a cross-section of our learning community. We put student needs first. Our LCAP spells out $25 million in overall services and supports this fiscal year that address state and local priority areas. Of that amount, we dedicated nearly $10 million to teacher collaboration, teacher coaching, mentoring and professional development. These objectives were successful in addressing both overall student needs and the needs of our target populations.”

Classroom teacher collaboration is made possible by CVESD’s nearly $6 million annual investment in arts instruction. CVESD employs 84 Visual and Performing Arts instructors. Their presence provides classroom teachers with critical release time to meet as grade-level teams to plan, collaborate on best practices, and implement high-impact strategies with target groups. While classroom teachers are collaborating, students are engaged in arts instruction.

Students in art classCVESD dedicates about $4.3 million in annual LCAP funding to employ 40 District resource teachers—one per each District school site—to support teacher use of data and modeling of exemplary teaching strategies. District and teacher leaders strategically constructed a three-year instructional plan to improve teaching and learning to reduce the achievement gap for English Learners, students with disabilities, Socioeconomically Disadvantaged youth, and foster students.

“The Golden Bell award is an honor that every staff member can take pride in—from our support staff to classroom teachers to school administrators,” said CVESD Board President Leslie Ray Bunker. “Every facet of our learning community has contributed to our LCAP, and the success of our students is a reflection of our collective efforts.”

The instructional plan was built upon the conviction that high-impact, research-based strategies that develop language are the most powerful impact on student learning. Included in this work is the belief that the teacher-student relationship is one of the strongest indicators of student success.

A 17-member judging panel made up of experts from school districts and county offices of education reviewed the written entries and made the initial recommendations for the Golden Bell awards. On-site validators assessed the programs in action. This year’s awards are presented to school districts and county offices of education helping students achieve through after-school programs, mentoring, instructional interventions, use of data and other innovations.

“The Golden Bell recipients exemplify the spirit of innovation and excellence for which all of California’s public schools strive,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “The Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of outstanding education offerings in our state, and demonstrate the tenacity, vision and dedication of school leaders across California.”

The Golden Bell award is the latest in a string of honors recognizing CVESD programs, schools or services.

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