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Victor Elementary School District Recognized with Distinguished California Education Honor  

SACRAMENTO, Calif. ( – The Victor Elementary School District (VESD) Child Welfare and Attendance Liaison (CWAL) program was selected as one of 60 recipients of California’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award, presented by the California School Boards Association (CSBA). 

The CWAL program at VESD helps re-engage students and families to improve student attendance and build relationships with their schools. Using a data-driven, collaborative approach, the nine-person CWAL team, led by Ian Johnson, works directly with each of VESD’s 18 school site’s Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) teams to identify and overcome obstacles concerning student attendance.

CWALs take the initiative to meet families wherever they are, whether in their homes, apartments, hotels, or homeless shelters; they do whatever it takes to build relationships and provide them with resources to help get their students to school and succeed when they are in class and to connect families with much-needed resources.

VESD at the Golden Bell Awards
(Left to right: CSBA President-Elect Albert Gonzalez, VESD Board President Clayton Moore, CWAL Supervisor Ian Johnson, and CSBA Vice President Bettye Lusk)

Superintendent Lori Clark was thrilled on behalf of the CWAL team, saying, “We are so proud of the work that our CWAL team has done. They’ve been an incredibly strong resource that supports our families and communities by building relationships with our schools to increase student attendance and achievement.”

CSBA gives the Golden Bell Awards to promote excellence in public education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices. The awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.

A judging panel composed of experts from school districts and county offices of education across the state reviewed writtenentries and made initial recommendations. On-site validators then reviewed the recommendations and assessed the programsin action. This year’s Golden Bell winners demonstrated that they are addressing student needs through areas such as equity and access, school climate and safety, technology, and wellness. 

“As we wrestle with the aftermath of the pandemic and address longstanding issues related to student success, it’s important to highlight school districts and county offices of education that demonstrate promising practices for closing opportunity and achievement gaps and supporting student wellness,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “This year’s Golden Bell winners have developed remarkable programs that can serve as an example for schools across the state as they work to accelerate learning recovery and foster healthy school environments for all California students.

VESD Board of Trustees with Staff at the Golden Bell Awards
(Left to right: Secretary to the Superintendent Tina Correia, Superintendent Lori Clark, VESD Trustee & Clerk Dr. Gabriel Luis Stine, CWAL Supervisor Ian Johnson, VETA Secretary Gerri DeLaHoussaye, VESD Trustee Allen Williams, CSEA President Ruben Santos, and VESD Board President Clayton Moore)

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