VVUHSD Family Engagement Program Wins Statewide Honor – VVNG.com

VICTORVILLE – Victor Valley Union High School’s Family Engagement Program has been recognized as one of the best programs of its kind in the state, winning a 2022 Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association.

The CSBA announced this week that VVUHSD was among the winners of the Golden Bell, an honor given annually to a handful of schools and districts in the state. VVUHSD won the award in the Family/Student/Community Engagement category and will be recognized at the CSBA annual conference in San Diego on December 1.

“A parent is a child’s first teacher, and parent partnerships are critical to the success of a school district,” said VVUHSD Superintendent Carl J. Coles. “While we continue to do the important work of parent and family engagement, regardless of accolades, it’s nice to see our outstanding team recognized for building strong relationships within our community.”

Beginning in 2016, VVUHSD launched a program that was the first of its kind in the high desert, hiring Family Engagement Liaisons across seven VVUHSD campuses. These employees provide parent workshops, multi-week parent academies, home visits for families in need, opportunities to meet and interact with principals, a technology program offering computer training, and free computers, and various other outreach activities and events.

In the years since the program’s inception, VVUHSD schools have seen a positive impact on the school climate in the culture as well as an increase in graduation rates coupled with a drop in the dropout rate. The districtwide graduation rate has increased more than 11 percentage points in four years, and during the same period, the district’s dropout rate has dropped nearly six percentage points.

“I look forward to the direction the program takes in the future,” said VVUHSD Director of Student Services Michael Williford, who oversees the program. “We are already talking about adding a resource fair for parents, a student summit and a few other new events. We have a group of great leaders on this team and great people who care about families.

This is VVUHSD’s fourth Golden Bell Award. University Prep was recognized for its Senior Transition Program in 2019; the district was honored as part of the Mountain Desert Economic Partnership in 2020; and Cobalt Institute of Math & Science won the award for its STEM academy in 2021.

(Left to right, Victor Valley Union High School District Student Services Director Michael Williford, District Counselor Diana Chapero, and Victor Valley High School Family Engagement Liaison Veronica Ginorio speak to a group of parents at a recent family engagement event at VVHS. The VVUHSD Family Engagement Program has been recognized as one of the best programs of its kind in the state, winning a 2022 Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association.)

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Ryan H. Bowman