Parent Program Wins 2019 Golden Bell Award

Parent Program Wins 2019 Golden Bell Award

     December 5 was a golden celebration for MVSD as the District was awarded the 2019 Golden Bell Award for Parental/Community Involvement from the California School Boards Association (CSBA).  At a special ceremony held during CSBA’s Annual Education Conference in San Diego, the District was honored with the prestigious award for its exemplary Parent Leadership Academy.  CSBA’s Golden Bell Awards promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California.  In addition to the Golden Bell Award, MVSD was also named a Sponsor Winner by Think Together who recognized the District’s efforts to partner with parents and families and provide innovative approaches to outreach and effective parent engagement to support learning.

       On hand for the awards ceremony were Board President, Christian Diaz, Vice President, Jacqueline Saldaña, Clerk, Adam Carranza, Member, Veronica Sifuentes and Member, Cindy Wu, Superintendent, Lillian Maldonado French, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, Raymond Andry, Coordinator of Family Engagement, Priscilla Figueroa, District Community Liaison, Martha Cabrera, Public Information Officer, Michele Earle and Parent Volunteer/Parent Trainer, Yolanda Molina.  The group was very happy to have Angelica Sifuentes Donoso, the District’s former Director of Family Engagement who retired in June, join them for the celebration.  

     The Board of Education, staff and parents are proud to have the exemplary program recognized, and are overjoyed to win the Golden Bell Award.

     “We are so excited to be awarded the Golden Bell Award for our amazing Parent Leadership Academy,” said Diaz.  “It is great to be able to showcase the great work our parents have done in ensuring their commitment to each other, our district and of course our students.  We are extremely proud and grateful to have such involved parents who not only look out for their own children but the others as well.  This is a testament to the team we have here at the Mountain View School District.”

       A program up for CSBA’s Golden Bell Award is judged on a variety of criteria and must demonstrate that it is data driven, has made a difference for students, is innovative or exemplary, is connected to the Board’s vision, is sustainable over time and can be replicated and serve as a model for other school districts to follow. . 

     Implemented in 2015, the Parent Leadership Academy empowers parents to be leaders in their schools, the District and the community, aligning to the Board of Education’s goal of engaging families in supporting student achievement.  Partnering with California Association of Bilingual Educators (CABE) Project 2Inspire, parents participate in three 16-week awareness, mastery and expert level courses.  The Academy is linked to student learning and connected to academic expectations, emphasizing how parents can become advocates for their children.  The District’s Expert Level parents now lead and teach the awareness level classes to other parents throughout the District as Trainers of Trainers, creating a multiplier effect.  Through the development of their knowledge, collaboration and leadership, parent leaders reach beyond their homes and schools, empowering other parents and significantly impacting their community as agents of change.     

        According Maldonado French, the Academy has transformed parent involvement to active family engagement, significantly impacting student achievement.

     “The Parent Leadership Academy has brought about effective strategies to build parent leaders and facilitate the participation of our families in our schools, district and community,” she said. “It has been wonderful to see our families partnering with our schools and taking an active role in their child’s education, while being empowered with the leadership tools they need to support their child to reach their full potential.  Our Leadership Academy has created confident parent leaders who make their children and families proud, as well as productive partnerships that provide students with positive learning experiences and a love of learning that will last a lifetime.”

     The program’s impact on student achievement is evident with the increased scores on the Diagnostic Online Reading Assessment (DORA) and the reclassification rate for English learners which has met or exceeded annual goals at a rate of over 7%.   Additionally, English learner progress on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in English Language Arts has exceeded County averages by 3% for the past two years.

     The Board of Education appreciates the level of leadership the families are providing and the growth they are making as partners in the education process. 

    “As our Board developed its strategic goals, we acknowledged that including a quality parental/family component was imperative for the success of our District. Our Parent Leadership Academy deepens our work in parent/family involvement and empowers our parents tremendously,” said Carranza. 

     The Parent Leadership Academy has also created a culture of trust and understanding and has provided parents with much more in-depth knowledge of the educational system. Damaris Ixchop, a Baker School parent shared that she participated in the program for her three children.

     “I used to be quiet, but not anymore. Over the 16 weeks I became empowered and I learned, and now I know,” she said. 

   Sandra Heredia has been an involved parent in MVSD for 11 years and is very proud to be an expert level leader in the academy. 

     “The District provides so many opportunities for parents to gain knowledge in a variety of areas and serve and be in partnership as we support our children’s education.  Being a leader in the academy has been extremely gratifying and I’m very happy to have the chance to support other parents,” said Heredia.

     Saldaña is grateful the District received the Golden Bell and is especially proud that it honors the district staff and families.

      “It is through collaborative effort and intentional planning and programming that we have gained the trust of our families to engage with us and with each other” said Saldaña.  “We are proud of our families for taking the initiative to participate in this program.  They have motivated one another to become leaders not just in their homes, but in their children’s schools and their community.  They have become a strong voice that advocates not just for their own children, but for all of the children at the Mountain View School District.  It is an honor to serve a district that is dedicated to the success of its students and their families,” she added.

   In addition to the prestigious Golden Bell Award, the Parent Leadership Academy has also been recognized nationally as an exemplary family engagement program, earning the Johns Hopkins University National Network of Partnership Schools (NNPS) Partnership District Award.

      “A wealth of appreciation goes out to our Family Engagement Department, our visionary Board of Education, our school community liaisons and our amazing parents for their exceptional efforts and dedication to the Parent Leadership Academy,” said Maldonado French.  We are so proud of our parent leaders and families who are now reaching beyond their own homes and schools and truly impacting their community through their knowledge, collaboration and leadership.”

 

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