CVESD Named California Exemplary District

CVESD Named California Exemplary District
Posted on 04/24/2018
County officials say Chula Vista has done a tremendous job in aligning resources to meet student needs.

The Chula Vista Elementary School District is among the state’s first recipients of a brand-new honor that celebrates the outstanding implementation of practices that have had a positive impact on student outcomes.

The District was selected by the California Department of Education as San Diego County’s inaugural awardee of the “California Exemplary Districts” honor. The District was chosen because of its high academic growth and performance, as well as practices that have been implemented to achieve increased student and community engagement, said County Superintendent of Schools Paul Gothold, Ed.D.

“Chula Vista has done a tremendous job in aligning resources to meet student needs, particularly dedicating dollars through your Local Control and Accountability Plan to build the capacity of teachers and administrators, and integrating arts education across the district,” said Dr. Gothold, in announcing CVESD’s selection. “You and your team are building better, more responsive educational environments so your students succeed and thrive.”

The Local Control and Accountability Plan, or LCAP, is a three-year plan that every district in California has in place to show how it is spending state funds to improve student performance. County Offices of Education throughout the state play an integral part in the LCAP process, as they are the bodies responsible for review and approval. A committee of education professionals at the San Diego County Office of Education oversaw the selection of the exemplary districts honor. CVESD’s academic successes are highlighted by outstanding achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics.

The County Board of Education recently recognized CVESD for the honor, presenting CVESD's Board members and Superintendent with a beautifully framed resolution.

The new award, presented by the California Department of Education and sponsored by California Casualty, recognizes districts that have at least one school that meets the eligibility criteria to be a California Distinguished Schools Awardee for 2018. In CVESD, three outstanding schools — Cook Elementary, Loma Verde Elementary and Veterans Elementary — were all honored as California Distinguished Schools for exceptional gains in implementing the state’s academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The District’s success in implementing and monitoring model practices not only caught the state’s eye but that of researchers, too. The Learning Policy Institute identified the District as a “positive outlier district” in California due to its strong achievement results with students in target groups, and in particular, students of color.

The first goal of CVESD’s 2017-18 Local Control and Accountability Plan states: “The District will improve and increase access to services for students and families that support social, emotional, physical wellness, and school success.”


Significant resources were allocated to support this goal, resulting in the hiring of four District Social Workers, a Special Education District Resource Teacher, and improved staffing ratios for attendance health clerks and School Psychologists.


“There is a well-documented link between health and student achievement. Healthier students perform better academically,” said CVESD Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D. “What we are talking about here though, goes far deeper. We are strengthening students’ resiliency. Our work in social-emotional wellness is a key to meeting our broader goal of developing and nurturing the ‘whole’ child.”


The arts have been another means of enhancing students’ social-emotional well-being. In 2015, CVESD embarked on an ambitious strategic plan to build a hallmark Visual and Performing Arts program and hired its first VAPA Coordinator in 25 years to coordinate the effort. Today, 78 VAPA teachers serve students in Visual Arts, Dance, Theater, Music and Media Arts.


“An arts education can transform learning for all students,” Dr. Escobedo said. “We’re already seeing the impact.”


CVESD’s academic successes are highlighted by outstanding achievement in English Language Arts and Mathematics. CVESD students consistently outperform their peers from across the County and State on assessments, with encouraging English Language Arts results for English Learners (with RFEP) and Socioeconomically Disadvantaged students of particular note.


In addition, CVESD 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 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.

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