At­wa­ter school district re­ceives state award for improve­ment pro­gram

Merced Sun-Star - - Community - BY VIKAAS SHANKER vshanker@mer­ced­sun­star.com

The At­wa­ter El­e­men­tary School District has re­ceived a statewide award rec­og­niz­ing its abil­ity to “clos­ing the op­por­tu­nity gap,” ac­cord­ing to district and county of­fi­cials.

The Golden Bell Award, given by the Cal­i­for­nia School Boards As­so­ci­a­tion, will rec­og­nize the Merced County school district at its an­nual ed­u­ca­tion con­fer­ence Nov. 29 in San Fran­cisco for the district’s stu­dent improve­ment pro­gram, “Com­mon Lan­guage for Ef­fec­tive In­struc­tion, Stu­dent En­gage­ment, Achiev­ing Depth of Knowl­edge, Pro­fes­sional De­vel­op­ment to So­lid­ify Model Prac­tices.”

The school district’s model of in­struc­tion uses for­ma­tive, in­terim and sum­mar­a­tive data to help with strate­gic ed­u­ca­tional plan­ning, it tar­gets in­ter­ven­tion and en­rich­ment and it in­cludes on­go­ing staff pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment, ac­cord­ing to the district.

The per­cent­age of stu­dents per­form­ing at or ex­ceed­ing state stan­dards have in­creased by more than 25 per­cent for English and lan­guage arts, and by nearly 50 per­cent for math since the new state test­ing sys­tem was put in place in 2015, ac­cord­ing to a Sun-Star anal­y­sis of test re­sults.

The Golden Bell Award is the sec­ond ma­jor state award the district has re­ceived this year.

Elmer Wood El­e­men­tary was one of 287 schools in Cal­i­for­nia rec­og­nized as a 2018 “dis­tin­guished school,” in part be­cause of the district’s data driven pro­gram.

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