Inland Empire schools win awards for innovative programs

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School and districts across the Inland Empire have been honored for innovative programs that do everything from analyze test scores to help diabetics care for their feet.

The Golden Bell Awards are handed out each year by the California School Boards Association to recognize programs that work to improve student achievement and promote overall excellence in education.

The honors were given at the group’s conference in late November/early December in San Francisco. “These outstanding programs in Riverside County schools are making a difference for our scholars and their families inside and outside of the classrooms,” Riverside County Superintendent of Schools Edwin Gomez said in a county schools news release.

Inland Empire winners include the following.

Riverside County

Corona-Norco Unified School District — Auburndale in Action at Auburndale Intermediate School works to get English learners classified as fluent while they’re in middle school so they won’t have that status in high school.

Hemet Unified School District — The Teacher Residency Program addresses staffing shortages, retention and diversity. The district works with the neighboring San Jacinto Unified School District and the Alder Graduate School of Education to offer aspiring educators a yearlong apprenticeship, stipend and a master’s degree.

Jurupa Unified School District — The JUSD Dell Student TechCrew is a career pathway program that prepares students for technology careers with hands-on training in technical and other skills. The goal is for students to graduate high school with certification that qualifies them to get a job.

Moreno Valley Unified School District — Its Commitment to Environmental Sustainability program aims to connect environmental education efforts, health and wellness with solar and water conservation. It hascut expenses by $2.9 million in two years and has an anticipated savings of $19 million over a decade.

Murrieta Valley Unified School District — Its Inclusion initiative works to remove barriers for special education students and ensure they receive an equitable education.

Riverside County Office of Education — Early Childhood Education University is a virtual training series for employees that helps those who work with young students stay current on policies.

Riverside Unified School District — “Cafecito, Amigos de RUSD Facebook Live” is an online community overseen by the district’s Family Resource Center. It connects more than 400 parent viewers a week with information to help their students learn and get guidance.

San Bernardino County

Chino Valley Unified School District — The High School Road Show began in 2018. Counselors at Ayala High School use meetings to dig into academic data and set goals for improvement.

Redlands Unified School District — Its Computing, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (C-STEM) program mixes hands-on coding and robotics into math courses. A key goal is to close achievement gaps among students who are underrepresented in STEM courses.

Rialto Unified School District — The RITZ, which stands for Rialto’s Incredible Talent Zone, is a gala show that lets students perform while raising money through the district’s Sharing Our Love Foundation.

San Bernardino City Unified School District — The Bullying Intervention System sends experts assigned to a school where bullying occurred to use the Undercover Anti-Bullying Team, which uses peers to support the bullied student.

Pomona Unified School District — The Garey High School InvenTeam earned a U.S. patent in 2022 for inventing a medical device that lets diabetics monitor their own foot health.

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