Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District Wins Golden Bell Award for Transitional Kindergarten Program

02.18.2015 | Livermore Patch | Autumn Johnson

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Information submitted by Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District:

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LVJUSD) was honored at the 35th Annual Golden Bell Awards Program of the California School Boards Association (CSBA). The award was won in the Early Learning category for the Students Participating in Readiness Opportunities Using Themes in Science (SPROUTS) Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program offered throughout the district.

The highly respected Golden Bell Award was presented at a special ceremony during CSBA’s Award Luncheon, in conjunction with the California School Boards Association’s Annual Education Conference.

“We are thrilled to receive this prestigious award,” said Amy Robbins, Director of Curriculum and Instruction. “The TK program sets a strong foundation for our students to be successful students and leaders in their kindergarten classrooms,” said Robbins.

SPROUTS offers students who turn 5 between September 2nd and December 2nd Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) based experiences while students develop foundational skills. Transitional Kindergarten is the first new grade created in California in over 100 years.

Currently, Livermore offers this award winning Transitional Kindergarten program at Altamont Creek, Arroyo Seco, Croce, Jackson Avenue, Marylin Avenue, Joe Michell K-8, Rancho Schools. Students engage in inquiry based STEAM education using Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) materials from the Lawrence Hall of Science. Additionally classes read books related to the topics and develop literacy skills and vocabulary necessary for lifelong learning. Literacy skills are also enhanced through the use of Zoo Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears where students develop letter knowledge and phonics skills to promote beginning reading readiness. Math lessons engage students in hands-on activities to develop numeracy skills, patterning, geometry, and number sense.

Transitional Kindergarten classes follow a kindergarten schedule and teachers and aides blend Preschool Learning Foundations and the Common Core State Standards to provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum to students. TK began in 2012/13 with 4 classes and 95 students. Today, the program has 8 classes on 7 school sites with nearly 200 students.

Enrollment for the 2015-16 school year will take place at the Robert Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Avenue, Livermore on February 26 from 3:00-7:00 PM and February 27 from 2:00-6:00 PM.

The CSBA Golden Bell Awards program promotes excellence in education by recognizing outstanding programs in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. The Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of the education programs necessary to address students’ changing needs. The goal of this awards program is to contribute to the development and evaluation of curriculum, instruction and support services.

Additional Contacts:

School Board President Kate Runyon, (925) 454-1139

Director of Curriculum Amy Robbins, (925) 606-3202

Administrator on Special Assignment, Kim Farrand, (925) 606-3231

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