Our own Ellis Elementary School has been recognized by the California School Boards Association (CSBA) for its outstanding work in helping students develop their reading and writing skills. The school received the CSBA’s 2021 Golden Bell Award for practices that have consistently resulted in student growth in English Language Arts.
In 2014, a small group of Ellis teachers selected a new curriculum to seek more equitable learning outcomes for its diverse student population. The new approach, Reading Units of Study, was selected because it aligned with our district’s high standards, and was designed to help students develop a love for reading — a key to lifelong growth and learning.
Reading Units of Study was developed at Columbia University and had long shown evidence of success. The results at Ellis have shown consistent growth — both formal assessments and informal observations have shown that students are more readily engaged in their lessons and responding to increasingly high expectations for growth and achievement, additionally, parents are reporting their children are reading for pleasure. Ellis expanded the program school-wide in 2016, and added Units of Study’s Writing and Phonic programs in 2019, solidifying Ellis’ cohesive approach to literacy development.
We are thrilled that the Ellis team was recognized with a Golden Bell Award, and rewarded for their exemplary work. Even more rewarding — Ellis students are developing a greater love of learning every day.
The CSBA Golden Bell Awards, now in its 42nd year, promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California.
This year, 112 entries in 21 categories were received. Experts from school districts and county offices of education comprised the 34-member judging panel. Ellis is one of 39 recipients of the award this year. To learn more check out this year’s program: https://publications.csba.org/golden-bell/.
Article written by Communications Consultant Theresa Wilson.