Pittsburg Unified School District Receives Prestigious Golden Bell Award

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Photo provided by Pittsburg Unified School District

Pittsburg, CA – Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) takes home its first Golden Bell Award for “Garden to Classroom STEAM Instructional Strategies,” at the 2017 California School Boards Association (CSBA) conference in San Diego on Thursday, November 30, 2017.

The prestigious Golden Bell Award is recognition for the District’s Garden to Classroom program that provides STEAM strategies in instruction at thirteen schools throughout Pittsburg Unified School District. PUSD is extremely proud of its garden program and how school gardens are transforming into outdoor classrooms where students can see first-hand how plants are grown, what they are used for, and the process of creating a healthy dish from garden produce.

“We are thrilled to have received this recognition from the California School Boards Association,” said Dr. Janet Schulze, Superintendent, Pittsburg Unified School District. “The garden program aligns with our Board’s commitment to develop our students to be good stewards of the environment. Seeing the students’ enthusiasm in the gardens is a wonderful example of hands-on, engaging learning.”

Throughout the hands-on activities within the Pre-K through 12th grade garden program, teachers are provided unique professional development; students receive innovative educational opportunities, and the program promotes community involvement. Not only are students learning about healthy recipes, they are seeing first-hand how ingredients are grown and utilizing math and science skills to explore and understand all parts of the farm to table process. During each garden lesson, students also have a chance to taste test recipes they helped prepare. When creating this STEAM program, PUSD applied an uncommon strategy for curriculum. Classified staff members helped write curriculum for teachers in the classroom, developing a collaborative effort not seen in many school districts.

“This award represents a horizontal and vertical alignment of PUSD staff to support our core business of education for academic achievement,” said Enrique Palacios, Deputy Superintendent, Pittsburg Unified School District.

According to the CSBA website, the CSBA Golden Bell Awards promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance of school boards in school districts and county offices of education. A seventeen member panel of judges reviewed 250 entries for nineteen award categories. CSBA staff reviewed applications, judges scored entry programs, and an on-site validation visit of the program was conducted. PUSD is extremely honored to receive the 2017 Golden Bell Award, highlighting its Child Nutrition efforts in the Garden to Classroom program.

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About Pittsburg Unified School District

Awarded the College Board’s Gaston Caperton Opportunity Honor Roll award in 2016 for expanding access to college, Pittsburg Unified School District (PUSD) is one of 130 school districts across the nation recognized for creating opportunities for traditionally underrepresented students. PUSD is a K-12 district serving the community of Pittsburg, California. Founded in 1933, the school system is committed to providing an excellent opportunity for all students to learn. Comprised of eight elementary schools, three junior high schools, one comprehensive high school, one alternative education high school, an adult school, independent study options, and a preschool program, the school district serves more than 11,000 students. PUSD is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, fifty minutes outside of downtown San Francisco.

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