Kent Awards 2017

The San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA), representing 22 school districts, the San Mateo Community College District, and the San Mateo County Office of Education, presented the 2017 Kent Awards on May 22, 2017.

The awards are given to outstanding and innovative programs either in the classroom or outside the classroom as well as district-wide programs. Applicants must demonstrate their programs promote student success, employ a high degree of creativity, and demonstrate transferability. Named after past San Mateo County Superintendent of Schools, J. Russell Kent, SMCSBA initiated the J. Russell Kent Award Program in the 1980-81 school year.

The event will also honor this year’s winner of the annual Emily Garfield Preventive Counseling Award, Shelley Bustamante of Carlmont High School (Sequoia Union HSD). The Emily Garfield Award was established through a grant from Youth Empowering Systems to honor local education pioneer Emily Garfield to focus on successful alcohol and drug prevention programs as well as positive youth development and community wellness programs. The Emily Garfield Award comes with a $1,000 program grant.

Articulation and Transition - Menlo-Atherton High (Sequoia Union HSD)

Menlo-Atherton High School’s Articulation and Transition Program was implemented to ensure students have a smooth transition from middle school to high school. Under the guidance of the administrative team, the Articulation and Transition Program opens lines of communication between M-A and our partner feeder schools from Menlo Park School District, Las Lomitas School District, and Ravenswood School District.   These open lines of communication also extend to the community as the Articulation and Transition Program hosts numerous events dedicated to both student and parent outreach.

Computer Science Week - Buri Buri Elementary (South San Francisco USD)

Computer Science Week at Buri Buri Elementary School goes far beyond the Hour of Code. Buri Buri students in grades TK - 5 participate in a range of activities related to computer science.  Labs dedicated to stop motion animation, robotics and circuitry allow students explore technology and to hone their 21st century skills of creativity and critical thinking.  Additionally, students experience assemblies and guest speakers that inspire them to envision a future in the field of technology.  Of course, there is also coding.  Hundreds of students are gaining foundational skills in computer science and sparking a lifelong interest.

Coyote Society - Pilarcitos High (Cabrillo USD)

Coyote Society is a dynamic peer-to-peer mentoring program allowing middle school and high school youth to actively participate in healing past traumas and helping others to do the same. It is a collaboration between the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff’s Activities League, Pilarcitos High School, and Cunha Intermediate School.  Established in 2013, the overarching goal is to improve the lives of teenagers struggling with serious issues including gang involvement, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, bullying, and instability at home.  These issues often result in poor academic performance, suspensions, referrals, truancy, negative and defeatist attitudes, and feeling lost and alone.

Dream Club - Sequoia High (Sequoia Union HSD)

Sequoia High School’s Dream Club’s mission is to raise public awareness about the challenges that undocumented students face as they pursue their dreams of a post-secondary education.  The club also works to raise scholarship money in order to help these students realize their dreams. To this end, the Dream Club hosts an annual fundraising dinner that boasts attendance by a wide variety of community members and a student conference attended by undocumented students and their peer allies from around the Bay Area.

Family Engagement - Creating a Bridge Between Home and School (San Mateo Union HSD)

The SMUHSD family engagement program removes barriers to participation and empowers families whose first language is not English, who often feel vulnerable, have students who are English Learners, have students who have struggled to find their place academically or socially, and/or just need some help in understanding our school system. Our philosophy is that when this happens students will be academically and socially engaged in school and graduate from high school college and career ready.

Gardening for Tomorrow - Skyline Elementary (South San Francisco USD)

Our “Gardening for the Future” Program provides an open door for any students, from any socio-economic background, from any academic level of achievement, to get involved in a Program that provides them the opportunity to experience challenges, make new friends, and learn practical uses for their 21st Century skills. While renovating gardens, the students will learn about environmental sustainability, native habitats, and appropriate uses of social-media and QR coding. Mrs. Jinzo and Garden Program seek to transform their school environment and in the process create a place for the next generation to learn valuable skills for their future.

Hatch Student Leadership Club - Alvin S. Hatch Elementary (Cabrillo USD)

The Hatch Student Leadership Club was established to help upper grade elementary students (4th & 5th graders) begin to explore the idea of what it means to be a leader- in their school, surrounding community and life. Students meet twice a month at lunch to discuss and explore the concept of leadership. This is done through team building activities, project based learning, community outreach and skills practice (role playing, writing, etc.). Students in turn represent the school at community events and public forums such as city council.

K-3 Foundational Skills Practices - Garfield Elementary (Redwood City SD)

Garfield Community School K-3 teachers have developed and implemented intentional instructional and professional practices in order to drastically improve reading achievement. At the heart of their exemplary practice is the explicit instruction of grade level CCSS Reading Foundational Standards through a daily whole group instructional routine. Common expectations for this instructional routine were developed to provide students with high-quality, aligned learning experiences as well as to support teachers in having a common practice to collaborate, plan and set goals with each other and students’ families. As a result our K-3 students are achieving and exceeding grade level expectations in reading.

L.E.A.P. - Heather Elementary (San Carlos SD)

San Carlos School District L.E.A.P. (Language, Early Education & Play) special education preschool program provides a high quality continuum of services while offering access to typical peers in the least restrictive environment. Students enrolled in LEAP's highly-structured, language-rich preschool classrooms with peer play and language models have a high rate of success. Upon completion from the LEAP program, many students are able to attend general education kindergarten with special education supports.

Middle School Social and Emotional Learning - Woodside School (Woodside Elementary SD)

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) at Woodside Middle School is integrated in a variety of ways in order to provide students regular opportunities to develop self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision-making, relationship skills and self-management. Faculty integrate SEL through activities and discussions allowing students to be reflective academically and socially. Students are encouraged to recognize their own strengths and challenges, to set personal and noble goals, to identify problems and embrace creative solutions, and to understand and appreciate differences. In particular, 6th through 8th graders benefit from advisory classes, a service learning elective, and a design thinking exit project.

Panther Reading Program - San Mateo Park Elementary (San Mateo-Foster City SD)

Park School's Panther Reading Program combines Reading Recovery, Leveled Literacy Intervention, ongoing focused discussions about student literacy data, and professional development for Panther Reading personnel, as well as classroom teachers. The program creates responsive and adaptable intervention for all students to succeed. At Park School, home of the Panthers, classroom teachers work closely with the Panther Reading Team and rely on interventions that enable students to learn a variety of strategies to read, write, and understand the written world around them. Panther Reading makes sure no student is overlooked and everyone has the same opportunity to love reading.

Portfolio and Senior Mastery Defense - Hillsdale High (San Mateo Union HSD)

The Portfolio and Senior Mastery Defense expects students to collect work over the course of their four years at Hillsdale in a Portfolio aligned with the Hillsdale Graduate Profile.  It then culminates in a senior year Defense where students stand in front of a panel to defend both content knowledge in a chosen focal area and mastery of the Graduate Profile. Successful completion of the Defense is a Hillsdale graduation requirement. The process fosters student-teacher relationships, especially in the senior year where each teacher mentors four seniors, and supports student success post-high-school, whether it be college coursework or the workplace.

Restorative Practices and Restorative Justice - Hillview Middle (Menlo Park City SD)

Through the use of Restorative Practices, an umbrella term for any activity or program that restores or creates an empathic school culture, Hillview Middle School has designed an approach to student behavior management and discipline that has resulted in a dramatic decline in suspensions and more equitable outcomes. These practices include Restorative Justice, a suspension-diversion program that builds capacity for students to engage with other adults and peers about the suspend-able incident and restore any harm or trust to their community through an individualized Restorative Justice plan.  These coordinated efforts have created a school culture based in social-emotional wellness.

Sandpiper Robotics - Sandpiper (Belmont-Redwood Shores SD)

Sandpiper Robotics uses the VEX IQ platform as a foundation to provide STEM learning for young engineers. Students learn the fundamentals of STEM while building innovative robotics, developing their game and teamwork strategies, and competing throughout the school year in a variety of tournaments. Our goal is to motivate students to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics related careers while providing students with an opportunity to practice STEM disciplines competitively. Our mission is to teach the skills necessary for students to be successful in a highly technological and globally competitive society. Our program motto says it all: Think, Build, Inspire.

Selby Lane Two Way Spanish Immersion Enrichment Program - Selby Lane Elementary (Redwood City SD)

The Two Way Spanish Immersion Enrichment Program (TWI) at Selby Lane bridges two existing educational programs to benefit the greater school community by promoting collaboration in a mutually beneficial experience for teachers, students and families. Since its introduction in 2013, the TWI strand has reinvigorated the school, by bringing experienced teachers and community events for all students and families. The TWI strand has proven to be extremely valuable for the creation of a renewed sense of pride and community within the staff and the Selby Lane community.

Student Leadership/Community Outreach Program - Fernando Rivera Intermediate (Jefferson Elementary SD)

At Fernando, we strive to make our school a safe, positive, and happy place -- a place where every student can thrive. Our Student Leadership and Community Outreach Program is an essential and highly successful part of our efforts. We focus on developing well-rounded student leaders, encouraging their natural aptitudes and developing skills for continued growth. Our program promotes the development of interpersonal skills, practical use of technology, collaboration, writing skills, and critical thinking skills. Learning civic education challenges them to move beyond their comfort zones, and creates an inclusive school in which students are truly empowered.

Teacher Leadership for Instructional Improvement (Belmont-Redwood Shores SD)

Elementary teacher leaders in English/Language Arts, Math and Technology receive intensive training to lead professional development activities with the support of the elementary principals. This provides for increased teacher ownership of instructional initiatives, resulting in more powerful professional learning. We organize many of the professional development sessions by grade level district-wide. This breaks up familiar school staff meeting dynamics, keeps the sessions relevant to the audience, and promotes consistency of implementation across the district. Through this program, teachers and administrators are sharing the responsibilities of change leadership, we are implementing initiatives more effectively, and student achievement is increasing more equitably.

Transitional Resources for Adult Community Education (TRACE) Program (Sequoia Union HSD)

TRACE serves our 18 - 22 year old, adult students with disabilities earning a certificate of completion from Sequoia Union High School District. The program emphasizes community-based instruction to increase each student’s level of independence and adaptability. The TRACE micro-businesses and the opportunity to work at both paid and unpaid work sites creates successful transitions at age 22 for these students into their community whether through employment or attending an adult day program. Research shows that the more experience in job settings an adult with a disability receives the more likely they are to obtain and maintain employment after they leave the school system at age 22.

You Fair - Burlingame Intermediate (Burlingame Elementary SD)

The Burlingame Intermediate School’s Annual YOU Fair promotes healthy living in a fun and engaging environment. Through the collaborative efforts of parents, teachers, staff and the local community, our students experience a challenging obstacle course, an inspiring motivational speaker and hands-on activities and booths covering a wide range of topics including drug and tobacco awareness, body image, fire safety, healthy eating and other topics relevant to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The students work together throughout the day, creating a strong and supportive school culture, as they learn the importance of caring for themselves, their school and each other.

Writing in the End Zone - College of San Mateo (San Mateo County Community College District)

Writing in the End Zone, a learning community that links English and football, is an effective and established student retention, equity, and transfer program at College of San Mateo focused on increasing the academic achievement of and the academic opportunities available to African American and Pacific Islander male students, two groups that have been gravely underserved by the American educational system. Working closely together, English faculty and football coaches have created a seamless program that fosters student-athletes' success in the classroom and on the field.

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