West Valley High School was recently recognized as a 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program Winner. The CAPP Award Program, which is part of the California Department of Education’s School Recognition Program, was designed in partnership with Presenting Sponsor, California Casualty to celebrate districts and schools that have implemented innovative practices during the 2020-2021 school year to support distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CAPP Award Program is currently being utilized in place of the California Distinguished Schools (DS) Program. In the coming weeks West Valley High School will not only receive a certificate from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond but will also receive a flag to display this well-deserved recognition to their school community.
“We are very grateful for this recognition,” commented Principal Shannyn Cahoon. “Through this challenging time in education, our team has worked hard to stay connected to students. I am proud to serve at a place where we continue to keep student needs at the center of the work that we do.”
To be selected, schools and districts had to submit an application highlighting their pivotal practice that they implemented during distance learning from the following categories:
- Student Engagement
- Distribution of Technology
- Nutrition Services
- Social Emotional Well-Being of Students
West Valley High School focused on student engagement and enhancing the overall educational experience of students during distance learning. They instituted the Student Re-Engagement Team whose goal was to capture students that were struggling most in virtual learning and connect them with a variety of resources such as Chromebook, hotspots for Wi-Fi, access to nutritional services, books from the library, mental health services and access to a variety of school programs based on students individual needs. These efforts went beyond the Re-Engagement Team and included various staff groups. For example, teachers dedicated Wednesdays to social-emotional learning and activities meant to attract students that had felt disconnected and craved human interaction beyond the academic expectations. A variety of school staff reached out to every family or made home visits to check on students and offer services. The goal and focus was to be proactive and address the cause of students issues rather than be reactive and address the behavior.
West Valley High School’s focus has always been to have all members of the Mustang family rise to the challenge of maintaining a student-centered environment that fosters high expectations and promotes positive social growth. While COVID presented many challenges it also provided many opportunities to offer students a more personalized approach to their school experience and focus on their social-emotional wellbeing in addition to their overall academic success.
Congratulations again to the West Valley High School students and staff on this well-deserved recognition!