3 CVESD Schools Earn State Recognition

3 CVESD Schools, District Earn State Recognition
Posted on 04/11/2018
Principal Sobeida Velázquez (center) and staff are all smiles after Loma Verde Elementary was named a California Distinguished School.

Three outstanding schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District were each named a 2018 "California Distinguished School," the California Department of Education announced recently.


Hazel Goes Cook Elementary, Loma Verde Elementary, and Veterans Elementary were honored for exceptional gains in implementing the state’s academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. In addition, CVESD was selected a California Exemplary District awardee—the lone honoree among San Diego County school districts.


The Distinguished schools were recognized for performance and progress on the state indicators as described on the California School Dashboard. Indicators include test scores, suspension rates, and English Learner progress.

This recent achievement recognizes excellent teaching, learning and collaborating, as well as highly successful school-climate efforts that range from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention.

Loma Verde Elementary was one of five schools from throughout California to be singled out for acclaim by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson. Students work on their portable devices at Loma Verde Elementary.“These schools implement outstanding educational programs and practices that help California students realize their potential, and put them on the path to achieve their dreams,” Torlakson said. “Every day at these schools, teachers, administrators and classified employees, working with parents, apply their dedication, creativity, and talents toward providing a great education for all their students.”


Loma Verde Principal Sobeida Velázquez said teachers have taken every opportunity to enhance student learning by working together.


“We made a conscious effort to differentiate instruction for all our learners based on data analysis that teachers collect on a continuous basis. Our English Learners are supported in their acquisition of English through Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD) strategies. We have high expectations for all students,” said Principal Velázquez. “Parents are also an integral part of our success. By attending meetings, trainings, workshops, and becoming involved in the school community, they send a strong message to their children that education is important and paramount to their success.”


At Loma Verde, teachers came to a consensus within their grade levels to create assessment tools to monitor and check for understanding of the content taught to students. They were then able to analyze their students’ weekly, monthly, and quarterly unit assessments that focused on reading, writing, and vocabulary.


Through implementing a “Guided Language Acquisition Design Model” emphasizing language-learning chants, collaborative discussions, and inquiry-based learning, Loma Verde raised its California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) scores over a two-year period. CAASPP scores improved for English learners by 24 percent in math and 23 percent in English over two years. And, low-income students increased scores by 24 percent in English and 19 percent in math over the same period.


“I am so proud of our students, staff and parents," said Principal Velázquez. "This award reflects the hard work of our learning community. Gains like we have experienced do not happen overnight.”


Cook, Veterans, and Loma Verde are among 33 elementary schools in San Diego County and 287 across the state to be honored under the program. Chula Vista Elementary is one of 11 school districts in the county to have schools named California Distinguished Schools this year. The only district in the county to have more of its schools honored was San Diego Unified, which has more schools overall.


Loma Verde Elementary students have experienced dramatic achievement gains.CVESD Superintendent Francisco Escobedo, Ed.D., noted that the state recognition reflects a number of factors beyond academic achievement.


“It starts with the vision and direction of our Board of Education. We have made a conscious effort to develop the ‘whole child,’ with a strong emphasis on social-emotional development,” Dr. Escobedo said. “Programs such as Visual and Performing Arts, coding and engineering through Innovation Station, and health and wellness at the Elite Athlete Training Center all contribute toward a well-rounded student and an environment conducive to learning.”


The 2018 honorees were announced by the state on April 2. Award winners will be celebrated in May during a ceremony at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, which will also pay tribute to California Exemplary Districts, National Title I Distinguished Schools, Green Ribbon Schools, Civic Learning Award Schools and National Blue Ribbon Schools from 2017. The following day, educators from these schools will share their expertise and resources during a professional development day. 


With nearly 30,000 students and 46 schools, Chula Vista Elementary is the largest TK-6 school district in the state. It has a $256 million budget for the 2017-18 academic year.

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