In 2014, 242 entries in 19 categories were received. Experts from school districts and county offices of education comprised the 26 member judging panel.

Accountability/Assessment

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Action Research Summits

Quality Works

Joyce Chamberlain, Board President; Jan Gonzales, Superintendent; Ruben Santos, Chapter President/Quality Works Member

Quality Works is a district committee of classified, certificated, confidential and management staff members. The committee meets on a monthly basis to oversee and ensure continuous improvement of all Victor Elementary School District’s systems. Continuous monitoring of Victor Elementary School District’s systems is done using California Performance Excellence criteria.

High School

Garden Grove USD

Senior College Focus Program

Dr. George West, Board President; Dr. Gabriela Mafi, Superintendent; Lan Quoc Nguyen and Bob Harden, Board Members; Louise Milner, Principal, Sahra Tanikawa, Assistant Principal

The Senior College Focus program had significant impact on the students of Bolsa Grande High School, capitalizing on the district’s core values of options and opportunities for every student. Through the Senior College Focus program more students qualify to attend a four-year college. More students than ever before are getting admitted, enrolling and attending a four-year university.

Multi-level/Districtwide

Increased Graduation Rates

Increased Graduation Rates

Tracey Vackar, Board President; Dr. Judy White, Superintendent; Dr. Martinrex Kedziora, Educational Services Assistant Superintendent; Kristen Hunter, Valley View High School Principal; Omar Marquez, Valley View High School Lead Counselor; Patty Rucker, Student Services Coordinator

Over the course of three years, Moreno Valley Unified School District counseling staff from each high school worked collaboratively with district personnel, school administrative and teaching staff. They re-evaluated how they access and process data to monitor students. The effort among stakeholders created a system to provide early intervention for students not on track to graduate. As a result, graduation rates increased from 69.9 percent to 81 percent.

Career Technical Education

High School

Academic Internship Program

Academic Internship Program

Judy Velasquez, Board President; Jeff Harding, Superintendent; Chris Vanden Heuvel, Principal; Karen Perez, Administrative Assistant; John Camp, Teacher; Todd Everett, Community Member; Shelley Anderson and Heather Wilson, Internship Coordinators

The Academic Internship program at Healdsburg High School places students in the workplace for five days during the spring semester each year. Students prepare resumes, are interviewed, take on a project on behalf of a local business, and then give a presentation to their business mentor, family, teachers and other staff and community volunteers. The program gives students real-world experience necessary to succeed in school and at work.

Closing the Achievement Gap

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Intervention and Teacher Collaboration

Intervention and Teacher Collaboration

Don Davis, Board President; Dr. Mike Hendricks, Superintendent; Robert Cruz, Brian Akers, Jane Bock and Joseph Probst, Board Members; Michelle Lee, Principal; Barbara Page-Palmer and Kathy White, Teachers

The Response to Intervention and Teacher Collaboration program is teachers working as a team to identify at-risk students and problem solve to intervene for each student. The most significant impact that the intervention program has had at Willow has been the increase in staff collaboration and the continued professional sharing and problem solving.

Jr. High/Middle/Intermediate School

STEM & Design Thinking Program

STEM & Design Thinking Program

Colleen Sullivan, Board President; Dr. Cynthia Simms, Superintendent; Jeanne Elliott, Principal; James Brunner and Nicole Zvarik, Teachers

San Mateo-Foster City School District’s Design Thinking Program at the Bayside STEM Academy has embraced the district, county, state and national goals of creating 21st century learners through transforming into an advanced learning center that integrates curriculum-wide focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) and Stanford University’s Design Thinking method. The Bayside STEM Academy fosters engagement and is closing the achievement gap through specialized course work for sixth through eighth-graders.

Enhancing Student Performance and Support

Enhancing Student Performance and Support

James Karle, Board President; Matt Navo, Superintendent; Tim Lopez, Area Administrator; Jared Savage, Principal, Fairmont Elementary School

Student Learning Communities has changed the culture at Fairmont Elementary School. Each and every student at the school involved in the process is more motivated, engaged in learning, knows both short and long term individual goals and most importantly — owns their individual and collective team learning.

Clovis West College Readiness Partnership

Clovis West College Readiness Partnership

Brian Heryford, Board President; Dr. Janet Young, Superintendent; Eimear O’Farrell, Assistant Superintendent; Dr. Marc Hammack, Principal; Dr. Ellen Melocik, English Department Chair; Karen Boone, Learning Director

Clovis West High School partnered with Willow International Community College to improve the college readiness of Clovis West’s graduating seniors. During the five years preceding 2009, the percentage of students graduating from Clovis West, but needing remediation prior to taking college-level English, averaged 62 percent. Students have expressed they are ahead of the curve when it comes to writing college level research papers, engaging in academic discourse and thinking critically.

Advancement Placement-Onward and Upward

Advancement Placement-Onward and Upward

Maria-Elena Talamantes, Board President; Nick Salerno, Superintendent; Robin Torres, Principal; Keith Richardson, Director of Research and Curriculum; Board of Trustees of the El Monte Union High School District; Staff, Students and parents of the El Monte Union High School District

The Advanced Placement-Onward and Upward program exposes students to new subjects, improves chances of four-year college admission, increases students’ consideration for scholarships, and develops college-level academic skills and work habits that enable students to succeed in their first year of college and beyond.

Accelerating Academic Achievement

Accelerating Academic Achievement

Sheryl Schmidt, Board President; Elliott Duchon, Superintendent; Dave Doubravsky, Assistant Superintendent; Michelle Markham and Roberta Pace, Principals; Keila Cage, Teacher

The Accelerating Academic Achievement program is for Jurupa Unified School District’s 9th grade most at-risk students that require a comprehensive and sustained intervention approach. The program supports students through a year-long transition into high school by addressing their academic and social-emotional needs so they enter 10th grade on track to graduate and with the determination and skills necessary to succeed in high school and in life.

Advancement Via Individual Determination

Advancement Via Individual Determination

Tracey Vackar, Board President; Dr. Judy White, Superintendent; Bob Brough, Principal; Maribel Mattox, Director of Secondary Education; Tommy Stokes, Coordinator; Philip Peeples, Counselor

The Advancement Via Individual Determination program at Moreno Valley Unified School District is designed to close the achievement gap by preparing all students for college readiness and success in a global society. The Advancement Via Individual Determination program has made a significant, positive impact to the future of students, their families and the community.

Freshman Teams

Freshman Teams

Pat Kohlmeier, Board President; Lori Rhodes, Superintendent; Christina Rivera, Principal

The Freshman Teams at Redlands High School are intentional groupings of ninth-graders designed to create a “small school” within the larger high school. Team teachers collaborate with each other and students in order to motivate students and monitor their academic and behavioral progress early in their high school careers. Redlands High School not only wanted to increase the prospects of graduation, but to also ensure students could meet academic expectations.

High School Inc.

High School Inc.

Dr. Audrey Yamagata Noji, Board President; Dr. Rick Miller, Superintendent; David Richey, Principal

The mission of High School Inc. is to empower the youth and to strengthen communities through education and business partnerships. The High School Inc. model is unique in its design. The key components of High School Inc. are the small learning communities format, integrated curriculum and instruction, and the partnerships with businesses.

Multi-level/Districtwide

Achieving Greatness Initiative/Data Reflection Model

Achieving Greatness Initiative/Data Reflection Model

Briseida Gonzalez, Board President; Paul Gothold, Superintendent; Gudiel Crosthwaite, Assistant Superintendent; Shari Kaya, Jessica Mays, Juanita Naranjo and Yara Rubio, Teachers

The Data Reflection Model promotes a culture of data literacy throughout the Lynwood Unified School District. The program’s significance lies in the creation of a system-wide structure that allows site teams to analyze student level benchmark performance and address any barriers to closing the achievement gap. During the sessions, a data analysis protocol guides the discussion to identify best practices that improve student performance ensuring all students become college and career ready

Multi-District/Countywide/Statewide/Nationwide/International

College Connection Academy

College Connection Academy

Rudy Rodriguez, Board President; Dr. John Porter, Superintendent; Manuel Herrera, Board Member; Chris Funk, Superintendent, Eastside Union High School District; Henry Yong, President, Evergreen Valley College; Mohammad Qayoumi, President, San Jose State University

The College Connection Academy program provides a supported, seamless pathway from seventh grade into college, with special emphasis on at-risk students who are historically under-represented in the high school graduate/college going population. Starting with the summer before their entry into seventh grade, College Connection Academy students are part of a small community of learners, with handpicked staff dedicated to ongoing monitoring and adjusting of the program to meet student needs.

CommonCore

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Sobrato Early Academic Language Program

Sobrato Early Academic Language Program

Maria Diaz-Slocum, Board President; Jan Christensen, Superintendent; Amanda Rotten Gast, Principal; Laurie Olsen, SEAL Director; Anna Herrera, SEAL Coordinator; Jennifer Analla, SEAL Trainer; The SOBRATO Family Foundation

The Sobrato Early Academic Language program is a comprehensive model of intensive, enriched language and literacy education. It teaches the common core standards with a focus on the needs of English Language Learners, beginning in preschool through third grade. Hoover School serves a high percentage of students learning English as a second language and the community has always desired high levels of student literacy in both Spanish and English.

Community Schools through Partnerships and Collaboration

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Reading for Success

Reading for Success – A Community Reading Project

Roosevelt Elementary Community Reading Project is a program that exemplifies what can happen when a team of dedicated educators focuses on an issue, forms a partnership with members of the community and turns an identified academic need into an opportunity to enrich lives. Over the past nine years, the Community Reading Project has positively impacted the lives and the futures of 198 Roosevelt Elementary second grade students.

Meeting All Students Needs by Increasing Community Partnerships

Meeting All Students Needs by Increasing Community Partnerships

Brian Heryford; Board President; Janet Young, Superintendent; Debra Bolls, Principal; Linda Amparano, Neighborhood Resource Coordinator; Eimear O’Farrell, Assistant Superintendent; Richard Antenucci, Community Partner

Pinedale Elementary in the Clovis Unified School District set out to provide better access to resources for our students and parents. Pinedale created a Neighborhood Resource Center to help see that students feel safe, feel connected to their school, and most importantly, have basic needs met to ensure that they reach their full potential emotionally and academically.

The Argumentation and Communication Leadership Academy

The Argumentation and Communication Leadership Academy

Janny Meyer, Board President; Dr. Robert Pletka, Superintendent; Susan Mercado, Principal; Willie Washington and Robert Emery, Faculty, California State University, Fullerton; Theresa Ryan, Teacher and Faculty Advisor

The Argumentation and Communication Leadership Academy is designed for any Maple Elementary students in grades four to six, who want to learn and practice their speaking skills in a real world setting of competitive debate. Argumentation and Communication Leadership Academy is committed to using forensics activities to enhance students’ critical/analytical research and communication skills. It is never too early to begin working with students on speech and debate.

A School District/University Partnership That Works

A School District/University Partnership That Works

Patrick Flynn, Board President; David Hutt, Superintendent; Robert Ferrera, University Professor; Michael Rothhammer, Principal

San Bruno Park School District established a partnership with Notre Dame de Namur University which includes: a student teacher in every classroom, a university supervisor at every grade level, a university professor on campus every day conferring with the school principal and assisting in professional development, university undergraduate and graduate students providing systematic after-school tutoring two days a week. The program has significantly increased student achievement.

High School

Early College Partnership

Early College Partnership

Robert Singer, Board President; George Giokaris, Superintendent; Jim Coombs, Principal; Maggie Gallego, Head Counselor; Peter Nwosu, Associate Vice President, California State University, Fullerton; Ramalingum Vurdien, President, Fullerton College; Tammy Rodriguez-Kam, Early College Teacher/Coordinator; Erica Bowers, Reading Department Chair, California State University, Fullerton

The Buena Park High School Early College Partnership is rooted in the fundamental goals of the district which provides students an academically rigorous curriculum that will prepare them for post-secondary education. Early College Partnership provides Buena Park High School Coyotes (students) the honest/real opportunity to “Realize Tomorrow’s Dreams Today” by providing them the rare opportunity to enroll in college courses within the normal school day, on their high school campus.

Charter Hospice

Charter Hospice

Tracey Vackar, Board President; Dr. Judy White, Superintendent; Tamara Kerr, Principal; Bonnie Beck, Charter Hospice Volunteer Director; Sharon Scott, Health Careers Academy Director; Emmie Glancy, Charter Hospice Advisor

The Charter Hospice volunteer program trains high school students and places them as hospice volunteers. After 40 hours of medical instruction, provided at no cost, students participate in monthly visits to local skilled nursing facilities. Students communicate with patients, nurses, and staff, gaining experience in medical soft skills. The Charter Hospice Volunteer program extends beyond high school, as many students continue to volunteer after they graduate.

The Buena Vista Edible School Yard

The Buena Vista Edible School Yard

Linda Brenner, Board President; Dr. Kevin Silberberg, Superintendent; Dolores Whitley, Board Member; Brandie Dye, Principal; Barbara Grimm-Marshall, Founder, Grimm Family Education Foundation; Brad Grumbles, Coordinator-Assessment/ Curriculum/Instructional Technology; Scott Grumbles, Micro Computer Technician

The Buena Vista Edible School Yard is a partnership between the Grimm Family Education Foundation and the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District in an effort to teach students the importance of eating fresh, seasonal produce and making better food choices. Buena Vista Elementary students have grown over 2,900 pounds of produce every year and prepared countless healthy and delicious recipes that students often take home to share with their families.

“LinkUp” College and Career Readiness for ALL

“LinkUp” College and Career Readiness for ALL

Sandra Kirk, Board President; Jeffrey Weinstein, Superintendent; Harold Roney, Principal; Debi Keys, Assistant Principal; Patty Galindo, Student College Coordinator; Theresa Ojeda, Academy Instructor; Ed Knudson, President, Antelope Valley College; Tom O’neil, Academic Dean, Antelope Valley College

Rosamond High School was created in response to the development of a sound school site council in which we broadened the community voice through partnerships and collaboration. This partnership includes parents, community members, Antelope Valley College as well as school faculty. Under leadership, Southern Kern School District has developed a shared vision, shared leadership and shared accountability program they call “LinkUp.”

Multi-level/Districtwide

Vallejo City Unified Full Service Community School District

Vallejo City Unified Full Service Community School District/h2>

Ward Stewart, Board President; Ramona Bishop, Superintendent; Alana Shackelford, Director of Partnerships and Community Engagement

A full service community school district’s mission and vision is to meet the holistic needs of all students by providing school-based health, mental health, remedial supports and afterschool services for students and their parents. The central idea of the full service community school district is that all children have the right to learn and the right to the best curriculum and teachers feasible given their existing socio-economic conditions.

County Offices of Education

Jr. High/Middle/Intermediate School

Madera County Office of Education Foster Youth Services

Madera County Office of Education Foster Youth Services

Sara Wilkins, Board President; Cecilia Massetti, Superintendent; Cyndy Dolph, Associate Superintendent; Kathy Woods, Director, Curriculum and Instruction; Elizabeth Rodriguez, Coordinator, Youth Development

Madera County Office of Education collaborates with Department of Social Services, Probation and the Madera Center College so foster youth can take charge of their future. Group meetings, field trips, case management and social skill development help students explore careers, college and vocational programs while developing life skills in finance, cooking, decision making, relationships and alcohol/drug awareness.

Multi-District/Countywide/Statewide/Nationwide/International

Model Truancy Prevention Program

Model Truancy Prevention Program

John McPherson, Board President; Dr. Nancy Kotowski, Superintendent; Dean Flippo, Monterey County District Attorney; Stephanie Hulsey, Assistant DA; Diana Rosenthal, Deputy DA

The Monterey County Office of Education Truancy Abatement program engages student, family and school in a team effort to determine the problems the student is encountering, develops a plan of action and works together to resolve issues. The result is student success in school and positive school attendance. The key components of the program are early detection of truant behavior, and collaboration and shared vision and goal between partnering agencies.

Champions for Leadership

Champions for Leadership

Leon Beauchman, Board President; Jon Gundry, Superintendent; Kathy Sealana, Director, Workforce and Organization Development; Philip Gordillo, Chief Human Resources Officer; Laurence Beto, Principal, Special Education; Melissa Christie, Director, Curriculum and Instruction; Stephanie Lo, Financial Analyst

The Santa Clara County Office of Education believes leadership at all levels is critical to the success of their students, schools and the organization. Santa Clara County Office of Education’s theory of action is: if leaders are grown from within and staff develops to their full potential, then Santa Clara County Office of Education will match the needs of students and the organization to the career aspirations of individuals.

Seal of Biliteracy and Pathway Award Program

Seal of Biliteracy and Pathway Award Program

Leon Beauchman, Board President; Jon Gundry, Superintendent; Yee Wan, Director, Multilingual Education Services; Angelica Ramsey, Chief Academic Officer; Melissa Christie, Director, Curriculum and Instruction; Rachel Zlotziver, Communications/PR Specialist

In 2010, the Seal of Biliteracy Consortium in Santa Clara County was established by seven Local Education Agencies, including the Santa Clara County Office of Education. The Seal of Biliteracy supports school districts in providing multiple opportunities for the study of world languages, while recognizing students who attained proficiency in two or more languages by high school graduation with the Seal of Biliteracy.

Educational Resource Services Common Core Implementation and Support

Educational Resource Services Common Core Implementation and Support

Joe Enea, Board President; Jim Vidak, Superintendent; Guadalupe Solis, Deputy Superintendent, Instructional Services; Charlene Stringham, Assistant Superintendent, Instructional Services

The Tulare County Office of Education Educational Resource Services Common Core Implementation & Support provides multi-faceted Common Core State Standards implementation and support services to educators throughout and beyond Tulare County. The program includes an extensive offering of professional development sessions, on-site mentoring partnerships in over 50 districts, interdepartmental CCSS collaborative efforts, a wide array of relevant, engaging, CCSS-aligned student events and a popular CCSS resource website.

Curriculum and Instruction: English/Language Arts/Reading

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Learning Through Literacy

Learning Through Literacy

Micah Ali, Board President; Darin Brawley, Superintendent; Ontrece Ellerbe, Principal; Abimbola Ajala, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services; Pamela Aurangzeb, Director of Curriculum and Instruction; Nancy Harris, Curriculum Specialist; Latrece Polk, Teacher

Learning Through Literacy puts innovative and engaging practices in place to ensure that every scholar at its school becomes a fluent reader and a proficient writer by the end of each school year. The schoolwide literacy focus involves meeting the needs of each student through small reading groups, peer-assisted reading assignments, an individual reading plan, a comprehensive schoolwide writing approach and intervention services for students reading below grade level.

Curriculum and Instruction: Invigorating High Schools

High School

Palomares Academy of Health Sciences

Palomares Academy of Health Sciences

Frank Guzman, Board President; Richard Martinez, Superintendent; Adrienne Konigar-Macklin, Board Member; Camille Ramos-Beal, Principal; Reedy Wade, Former Principal; Francisco Bustos and Brandi Dukes, Teachers; Elizabeth Rega, Associate Vice Provost, Western University of Health Sciences

Palomares Academy of Health Sciences is a National Academy Foundation school serving as a dedicated pathway in health/biomedical careers. This former middle school now offers rigorous health science courses that are student-centered with cross-curricular content embedded into project-based learning. Students engage in internships and mentoring with industry and university partners. Palomares provides opportunities for early engagement, guidance and support, and preparation for college and career.

Curriculum and Instruction: Other Content Areas

Jr. High /Middle/Intermediate School

Project Make

Project Make

Bill Carle, Board President; Socorro Shiels, Superintendent; Laura Hendrickson, Principal; Justin Boothe, Assistant Principal; John Lundblad, Teacher; Carolyn Hamill, Electives Department Chair

You dream it, and Project Make will help you create it! Hilliard Comstock Middle School in the Santa Rosa City Schools Project Make helps students become “makers” of practical, imaginative and creative hands-on projects. Project Make is a suite of offerings including a summer camp and electives that help students develop confidence, self-efficacy and an intrinsic motivation toward academics.

Curriculum and Instruction: Science

Jr. High/Middle/Intermediate School

Lakeside RiverKeepers Community Partnership

Lakeside RiverKeepers Community Partnership

Twila Godley, Board President; David Lorden, Superintendent; Nina Drammissi, Principal, Lindo Park Elementary; David Tupper, Science Teacher; Steve Mull, Principal, Lakeside Middle School; Robin Rierdan, Lakeside River Park Conservancy; Jan Landstedt and Linda Koller, Science Teachers

The RiverKeepers Community Partnership is a collaborative effort between the Lakeside Union School District, Lakeside River Park Conservancy, and other local agencies to promote educational and cultural opportunities for youth. This seven-year partnership has resulted in yearly field study experiences for 450 sixth-graders to actively engage applied ecological study with innovative 21st century tools. The experience builds understanding of the native riparian habitat, invasive species, watershed issues community awareness and college/career pathways.

Curriculum and Instruction: Visual and Performing Arts

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

The CoTA Project

The CoTA Project

Dr. Christopher Oram, Superintendent

National School District entered into a collective impact cross-sector partnership with Teachers and Artists, a nonprofit organization and the University of California, San Diego. The partners created The CoTA Project, a professional development model incorporating exemplary interdisciplinary instructional strategies that integrate multiple art forms aligned with the new standards. Teachers worked with 17 CoTA teaching artists to develop 135 model lessons that can be accessed online.

Early Childhood Education

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Kindergarten Readiness Roundup

Kindergarten Readiness Roundup

David Isom, Board President; Kris Korey, Superintendent; Judi Honeychurch, Pat Shamansky, Perry Polk, David Gaut and John Silva, Board Members; Kay Hartley, Principal; Cheryl Stumbaugh, Teacher

The Kindergarten Readiness Roundup program services hundreds of families each year. Pre-kindergarten children, with their parents, move through stations where they are assessed on a range of specific kindergarten readiness skills including: shape and color recognition, small and large motor skills, letter and number identification, following directions and other identified readiness skills. Parents review results with kindergarten, preschool and special education teachers to learn strategies for preparing their children for kindergarten.

Students Participating in Readiness Opportunities Using Themes in Science

Students Participating in Readiness Opportunities Using Themes in Science

The Students Participating in Readiness Opportunities Using Themes in Science program offers our youngest students a foundation for 21st Century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and creativity. Technology is used to enhance and accelerate the learning experience of young, eager students. Theme-related books provide students opportunities to develop vocabulary, comprehension and sequencing skills, and concepts of print while enhancing their school experience.

Tots, Teachers and Technology

Tots, Teachers and Technology

Frank Guzman, Board President; Richard Martinez, Superintendent; Leslie Barnes, Assistant Superintendent, Business Services; Eileen Carrillo-Lau, Director, Child Development; Cynthia Allen, Program Assistant; Jennifer Wagner, program Administrator, Instructional Technology; Marilyn Hokanson, Teacher Specialist

Tots, Teachers and Technology introduces three-and four-year-olds to technology as a tool for early, interactive learning, while providing targeted, job-embedded professional development for teachers and a platform for parent engagement. Using SMART boards, interactive tables, iPads and tablets, children learn in a hands-on, play-based curriculum. Children receive the academic, technological, and social foundation that prepares them for success in the 21st century.

Literacy and Mobile Book Services

Literacy and Mobile Book Services

Bruce Dennis, Board President; Kenneth Young, Superintendent; Diana Walsh-Reuss, Associate Superintendent; Marjo Mello, Director; Rosa Alvarez, Site Manager

Riverside County Office of Education partners with the Brawley Public Library for community-based literacy services through the Literacy and Mobile Book Services. The active collaboration greatly narrows the achievement gap through the innovative library program that provides books and services that support literacy, lifelong learning, and the pursuit of pre-academic school readiness skills for children, their parents and families.

Preschool Bridging Model Plus

Preschool Bridging Model Plus

Brian Rivas, Board President; David Gordon, Superintendent; Greg Geeting and Jacquelyn Levy, Board Members; Nancy Herota and Natalie Woods Andrews, Directors, School Readiness; Mark Vigario, Assistant Superintendent

Preschool Bridging Model Plus is an innovative quality enhancement program for teachers working in Sacramento County private centers and family child care homes serving children, birth through age five. The Sacramento County Office of Education’s early childhood education specialists have partnered with nearly 700 teachers/sites to integrate use of research-based instructional strategies and resources that will enhance teacher-child interactions and environments.

Juanita Haugen Memorial for Civic Education

High School

Civic Pride Independent Academy

Civic Pride Independent Academy

Donald Ruhstaller, Board President; Thomas Uslan, Superintendent; Phyllis Kahl, Principal; Josef Schallberger, Assistant Principal; Susan Lenz and Van Ha To-Cowell, Board Members; Katie Pierce and Edward Bonilla, Teachers

Civic Pride Independent Academy was designed to offer expelled students an opportunity to continue their education and stay on track to graduate. The program provides college preparatory academics through direct instruction and online learning, supported by counseling and drug testing. The students participate in service projects with a focus on bettering their local community as well as the environment. Civic Pride Independent Academy gives students a second chance to find success.

Parental/Community Involvement

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

De Padre de Padre

De Padre de Padre

Danielle Cohen, Board President; Eric Andrew, Superintendent; Julie Constant, Thomas Gemetti, Michael Snyder and Juliet Tiffany-Morales, Board Members

Campbell Union School District’s De Padre de Padre - Positive Discipline Class for Latino parents intentionally recruits and engages Spanish-speaking fathers to actively support student achievement, good attendance, and enthusiasm for learning. This unique parent education model provides gender-specific day and evening sessions in which fathers and mothers learn new skills.

Jr. High/Middle/Intermediate School

Emerging Young Leaders

Emerging Young Leaders

Brenna Cadman, Board President; Dr. Shawn Judson, Superintendent; Laura Rowland, Principal; Candra Loftis, Teacher

Emerging Young Leaders is the signature program of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., created by International President Carolyn House Stewart. The program is designed to cultivate and encourage high scholastic achievement through leadership development, educational enrichment, civic engagement and character building. The program targets middle school girls with the intent of grooming future leaders.

Multi-level/Districtwide

Parent University

Parent University

Valerie Davis, Board President; Michael Hanson, Superintendent; Luis Chavez, Janet Ryan, Cal Johnson, Christopher DelaCerda, Carol Mills and Michelle Asadoorian, Board Members

Fresno Unified School District’s Parent University mission is to empower and connect parents to their school system with the goal of improving student achievement. Through Parent University courses, parents gain insight into Fresno Unified’s instructional and learning environment, accountability systems and resources, and learn how to better connect with their children’s school community. These efforts have allowed the district to become more transparent and accessible to parents and community members.

Home Visits and Academic Parent/Teacher Teams

Home Visits and Academic Parent/Teacher Teams

Christina Pritchett, Board President; Jose’ Banda, Superintendent; Yesenia Gonzalez, Founding Parent; David Fisher, Vice President; Tu Moua, Associate Superintendent

Combining Home Visits and Academic Parent/Teacher Teams results in a teacher-led family engagement model, that partner with families to support children’s academic goals. Decades of research confirm that both high expectations in the home and engaged families focused on student learning are essential components in narrowing the achievement gap and building a solid foundation for college and career readiness.

Professional Development and Teacher Recruitment/Retention

Multi-District/Countywide/Statewide/Nationwide/International

Teacher Dinner Series on Technology

Teacher Dinner Series on Technology

Don Huffman, Board President; Barbara Nemko, Superintendent; Lori Hill, Administrative Assistant; Rebecka Anderson, Educational Technology Manager

The Teacher Dinner Series on Technology provides teachers with free, ongoing professional development on how to effectively use a variety of technology tools in the classroom that support common core standards. Trainings are held in the early evening and a community dinner is provided to all who attend. All participants have hands-on experience while being coached in how technology can best be used with students in the classroom.

School Climate

Jr. High /Middle/Intermediate School

Potter PRIDE System of Supports

Potter PRIDE System of Supports

Patty de Jong, Board President; Candace Singh, Superintendent; Leonard Rodriguez, Principal; Allen Teng and Robert Huish, Assistant Principals; Danielle Duarte and Megan Woodword, Counselors

Over the past four years, Potter Junior High School’s implementation of Potter Pride System of Supports has led to a 74 percent decrease in suspensions with significant decreases each year. In-school suspensions dropped 95 percent, and detentions dropped 13.5 percent. Potter has implemented teaching and practicing of behavior expectations, monitoring and adjusting the program based on data, emphasized counseling and specific education-focused behavior intervention, opportunities for student empowerment, and positive incentives.

High School

Unity

Unity

John Zickefoose, Board President; Dr. Michael Lin, Superintendent; Mike Ilic, Director; Challyn Strong, Teacher; Sarah Gonzalez and Ryan Sanchez, Teachers

Corona-Norco Unified School District’s UNITY program, has one goal. That goal is to unite students by celebrating their differences. UNITY operates on the premise that “it’s hard to hate someone when you know their story.” The message is promoted via UNITY Leadership courses offered at each high school where leaders facilitate full-day forums and manage campus-wide campaigns to combat social injustices such as bullying, discrimination, as well as celebrating their differences.

Multi-level/Districtwide

Promoting Safe Schools Together World

Promoting Safe Schools Together World

Michael Duran, Board President; Dr. Gary Rutherford, Superintendent; Jeff Kaye, Director of Security and Safety Services

Promoting Safe Schools Together World is an anonymous reporting tool used in all Desert Sands Unified School District schools to report bullying and other incidents detrimental to a safe school climate. Desert Sands Unified School District has had tremendous success with it in terms of investigating cases related to bullying, teen suicide and a myriad of other issues reported to them.

Full Services Community Schools

Full Services Community Schools

Charles Ramsey, Board President; Bruce Harter, Superintendent; Elaine Merriweather, Madeline Kronenberg, Randall Enos and Todd Groves, Board Members; Wendell Greer, Associate Superintendent K-Adult Operations

West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Full Services Community Schools initiative is improving academic and climate outcomes by bringing community health and wellness services into their schools and creating partnerships with cities, the county and private nonprofits. With leadership and commitment, full service community schools has expanded from providing basic health services in their high schools to elementary and middle schools with an influence that extends to the larger community.

Student Services

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Viva La Girl

Viva La Girl

Jason Michael-Bradley Wells, Board President; George Cameron, Interim Superintendent; Jose Barajas, Board Member; Nitza Corrales, Director of Special Education and Special Services; Lizcett Porras, School Psychologist

Viva La Girl is a gender-responsive character education program for girls, which functions under the guise of a “cool” club where girls interact with positive peer and adult female role models. Viva La Girl improves student social-emotional well-being by empowering girls with the understanding that knowing who they are and where they are going is essential in making a positive difference for themselves and their community.

Reach for the Stars

Excellence through Community

Linda Small, Board President; Dr. Ron Carruth, Superintendent; Jenny Hernandez, Instructional Specialist; Becky Shultz, Director of Expanded Learning

Whittier City School District’s Reach for the Stars program has been serving the community for over 14 years. The Reach for the Stars program serves over 1,300 students, grades K-8 during the school year and 800 during the summer months. Their vision is to produce students who have the 21st Century skills they need to be successful in school, career and in life. Together they promote healthy living and responsible citizenship.

High School

Building Assets Reducing Risks

Building Assets Reducing Risks

Ross Valenzuela, Board President; Barry Kayrell, Superintendent; Emily Shaw, Principal; Susan Brown, Coordinator; Stephanie Mitchell, Counselor

The Building Assets Reducing Risks program is a strength-based educational model created to help students manage the transition to high school. Building Assets Reducing Risks Program is the first comprehensive educational innovation that Hemet High School has found that has developed a structure and process to teach, support and empower administrators, educators, parents and students around a common articulated pathway to student success.

Multi-level/Districtwide

BreakThrough Student Assistant Program

BreakThrough Student Assistant Program

Dr. Betsy Connolly, Board President; Dr. Jeffrey Baarstad, Superintendent; Pat Philps and Peggy Buckles, Board Members; Kathleen Murvin, Program Coordinator

The Conejo Valley Unified School District received a three-year grant from Ventura County Behavioral Health to develop and implement BreakThrough, an alcohol and other drug and violence reduction-focused Student Assistance Program. BreakThrough provides an individualized service delivery plan focused on the specific needs of each participant. The mission is to offer confidential services that support academic and personal achievement.

Fontana Leadership Intervention Program

Fontana Leadership Intervention Program

Gus Hawthorn, Board President; Dr. Leslie Boozer, Superintendent; Barbara Chavez, Board Member; Scott Mesa, Fontana USD Chief of Police; Rodney Jones, City of Fontana Chief of Police; Sergeant Dennis Barnett, Jr., Fontana School Police; Beth Davidson, Intervention Secretary

The Fontana Leadership Intervention program is founded upon a partnership between the Fontana School Police, the Fontana Police Department, and the Fontana Unified School District. The sixteen-week program offers at-risk teenagers an opportunity to experience a unique educational environment which will positively impact the rest of their lives. Upon graduating from the program, students participate in a formal graduation and earn five elective credits toward graduation.

Men’s and Women’s Alliance

Men’s and Women’s Alliance

Valerie Davis, Board President; Michael Hanson, Superintendent; Luis Chavez, Janet Ryan, Christopher De La Cerda, Carol Mills, Cal Johnson and Michelle Asadoorian, Board Members; Darrin Person, Coordinator

Through the work and mentoring of Fresno Unified School District’s Alliance Program, selected at-risk students gain personal behavior and academic skills that lead them to find success in the classroom, career and through their adult lives. With the structure of selected elective courses, creation of Alliance Magazine and community outreach, students gain valuable life skills that help redirect their focus and get them back on track to graduate and succeed.

Sustainable, Renewable, Energy and Resource Efficient Programs

Multi-level/Districtwide

Alameda Green Schools Challenge

Alameda Green Schools Challenge

Margie Sherratt, Board President; Sean McPhetridge, Interim Superintendent; Ruth Abbe, Board Member; Lori Garrett, Outdoor Learning Center Coordinator; Jerome Thomas, Custodial Operations Lead; Tom Miro and Michele Kuttner, Teachers; Chantal Currid, Parent Volunteer

Created in 2009, the Alameda Green Schools Challenge supports the comprehensive recycling and composting programs across Alameda Unified School District. The program began with pilot programs at five schools and has since expanded to all schools in the district, and charter schools within the city limits. As of 2013-14, the amount of waste the district recycles or composts has grown to 68 percent, up from 41 percent before program implementation.

Wellness

Pre-Kindergarten/K-8

Fit for the Future

Fit for the Future

Juliana Feriani, Board President; Joe Silva, Superintendent; Paul McIlroy, Teacher; Gail Witzlesteiner, Hospital Administrator; Jodie Rodriguez, Dietician; Todd Stolp, County Health Officer; Brie Ferguson, Nurse/Fitness Coordinator

Fit for the Future is an innovative, collaborative effort to eliminate childhood obesity in Tuolumne County. A registered nurse, a registered dietitian and a credentialed physical education teacher provide expertise and motivation in health, fitness and nutrition. This lifetime skill and empowerment is essential to student health and wellness today and long into the future.

Multi-level/Districtwide

Intern Training Academy

Intern Training Academy

Bob Gin, Board President; Laura Tellez-Gagliano, Superintendent; Jane Anderson, Chester Chau, Adele Andrade-Stadler and Patricia Rodriguez-Mackintosh, Board Members; Laura Bear, Assistant Superintendent

Alhambra Unified School District created the Intern Training Academy to provide comprehensive prevention, intervention and mental health services to uninsured, underinsured and indigent students while providing a clinical training experience for interns focusing on best practices in mental health delivery. The district has been able to address the holistic needs of students, improve school outcomes and school climate, and reduce suspension and expulsion rates.

True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center

True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center

Tod Corrin, Board President; John Garcia, Jr., Superintendent; Robert Jagielski, Director, Student Services; Luz Perez, TLC Resource Center Coordinator

The mission of Downey Unified School District’s True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center is to create strong connections between the community and the district. Through collaboration, True Lasting Connections provides a comprehensive array of health and social services to students in need. This community schools based approach has gained focus in the last several years on addressing the complexity of the achievement gaps of low-income, at-risk students.

Encinitas Health and Wellness

Encinitas Health and Wellness

Marla Strich, Board President; Timothy Baird, Superintendent; Emily Andrade, Gregg Sonken and Carol Skiljan, Board Members; Leighangela Brady, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services; Angelica Lopez, Assistant Superintendent, Administrative Services

The Encinitas Union School District believes in the education of the whole child, as evidenced by its high academic achievement, innovative programs, and a comprehensive health and wellness program. The program focuses on the improvement of physical fitness, character development, garden sciences and nutrition curriculum. Wellness is a critical focus for the health, education and achievement of Encinitas students.

Healing Connections

Healing Connections

Alexandra Zucco, Board President; Dr. Katherine Thorossian, Superintendent; Terrence Williams and Ed Gililland, Board Members; Sashary Zaroyan, Student; Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, Mayor of Monrovia; Loretta Whitson, Director, Student Support Services

The mission of Monrovia Healing Connections is to provide leadership and coordination so that Monrovia youth are empowered and can flourish in school and in life. The Healing Connections program is free to the district, with funding generated through collaborative community efforts to fund assemblies and for printing hotline information cards and brochures. The program included effective research-based strategies to improve students’ emotional and mental health.