Education

This Merced County school district just won state award

Atwater Elementary School District Superintendent Sandra Schiber speaks on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, to supporters in front of the district office about Measure E, a Nov. 6 ballot question that would increase property taxes by about $30 per $100,000 of assessed value to help build a new school to alleviate overcrowding.
Atwater Elementary School District Superintendent Sandra Schiber speaks on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018, to supporters in front of the district office about Measure E, a Nov. 6 ballot question that would increase property taxes by about $30 per $100,000 of assessed value to help build a new school to alleviate overcrowding. 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.”

“We’re really excited for the recognition,” said Ana Boyenga, assistant superintendent of educational services, in a news release.

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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