Kent Awards 2018

The San Mateo County School Boards Association (SMCSBA), representing 23 school districts, the San Mateo Community College District, and the San Mateo County Office of Education, will present the 2018 Kent Awards on May 18, 2018.

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 program in the 1980-81 school year.

This year, the San Mateo County Office of Education will be sponsoring the first ever Excellence in Education and Equity Award at the Kent Awards celebration. The award will recognize a team of educators from among the Kent Award winners to celebrate the collaborative work being done in the county to support students.

The event will also honor this year’s winner of the annual Emily Garfield Preventive Counseling Award. 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.

Belmont-Redwood Shores SD - Behavioral Education Support Team

The Behavior Education Support Team (BEST) is a district-operated program for students with behavioral, social and emotional special needs. Sixty-seven students currently receive direct services from a team of behavior therapists and behavior therapist assistants. Since 2012, over 300 students who qualify for special education services have been provided intensive behavioral support from BEST in lieu of outside agencies. In many cases, BEST services have prevented our students from placement in more restrictive settings. Within the last two years, the program has expanded to include mental health services and consultation for teachers and administrators of students in general education.

Belmont-Redwood Shores SD - Redwood Shores Preschool Buddies Program

The Preschool-Second Grade Buddies Program at Redwood Shores Elementary is a partnership that transcends ability, age, and training. Through the collaboration of general education teachers and education specialists, second graders learn to work with younger students with different needs, while to the preschool students experience play, science, and socialization with older peers whom they come to see as role models. This partnership disrupts historical divisions of general and special education, as our school and district seek to foster an environment in which all adults can learn from each other and all children can succeed.

Cabrillo Unified SD - Big Coyote/Little Coyote

Big Coyote/Little Coyote is a program at Pilarcitos High School that addresses a need to connect students with local professionals. Half Moon Bay Rotarians meet with their purposefully paired mentee for thirty minutes within the regular school day. During the meetings, the HMB Rotarian and PHS student converse about their stories and experiences in education and careers over a light snack. Throughout the school year the Rotarian and youth will learn about one another, and by the end of the year the PHS student will personally know a coastside professional. The main purpose of this program is for PHS students to connect with community professionals and benefit from the mentorship process.

Cabrillo Unified SD - Farallone View Extended Academic Center

Farallone View’s Extended Academic Center proudly serves 47 students from grades 1st through 5th. They meet after school for one hour, 3 to 4 times a week, and receive targeted lessons in small groups of 5-7 students from credentialed teachers and one paraprofessional. The lessons are designed at their reading level and directly address the students’ instructional needs in oral language development, reading, and writing instruction. In addition, we provide snacks, mental breaks and free bus transportation. To increase its effectiveness, we have combined it with family literacy nights, data driven instruction, parent teacher conferencing and program quality assessment.

Menlo Park City SD - Embracing Our Differences Month

Students participated in a month-long program to build awareness around children who are differently abled and expand the spirit of inclusiveness at Oak Knoll. The month included a full schedule of events, such as classroom activities, puppet shows, and special assemblies. Staff used themed books, KNOL, and special events to educate students. The goal was to ensure that all children learn to treat each other with kindness and respect and understand better the many different ways that children can learn. Most importantly, the intention was that ALL children at Oak Knoll feel connected, regardless of ability or learning profile.

Pacifica SD - After School Enrichment Program

Vallemar School provides students with a variety of options through our after school enrichment program. We work in partnership with our dedicated staff and our outstanding parent group. Our vAcademy enrichment classes are organized and run by our Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). vAcademy has included enrichments like lego engineering, Mandarin, guitar, hip hop, cooking, Mini-Mermaid running club, puppet theater, basketball, soccer, and more. Our staff run enrichments include: the Geography Club, cross-country team, academic center, and bike club. Enriching students’ lives is a top priority for our school as we prepare students for our ever changing world.

Redwood City SD - Grand Canyon Ecology Trek

How do you get middle school students engaged in their study of Science, Social Studies, Math and Writing? For 7th grade students at John F. Kennedy Middle School and McKinley Institute of Technology in Redwood City, the Grand Canyon becomes their classroom for ten days each spring. Students go off the grid while they explore the evolution of life on earth through geological layers, log their observations in daily journals and create group skits to demonstrate what they have learned.

Redwood City SD - McKinley Institute of Technology: Family Literacy Initiative and Literacy Initiative

The McKinley Institute of Technology (MIT) Literacy Initiative was designed and created as a school-wide program to meet the individual literacy needs of our students and community. Components of the initiative include dedicated daily time for in class instruction, professional learning for staff as well as family education opportunities. The initiative has already proven successful based on significant increases in student achievement according to multiple measures: the 2016-17 CAASPP assessments and high school placement assessments. The MIT Family Literacy Initiative is a partnership with parents focused on helping families understand how technology is used in learning, by providing monthly parent technology workshops, curriculum focus classroom walkthroughs, parent monthly leadership workshops, and access to college education classes for parents.

San Bruno Park SD - San Bruno Park Student Health Center

Student wellness goes hand in hand with good attendance as critical components to student success. San Bruno Student Health Center in San Bruno Park School District, funded in large part by grants from Peninsula Health Care District, and through partnerships with San Bruno Library, San Bruno Lions Club, and other agencies, provides comprehensive health/wellness education and services to an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse population of students/families, including dental, vision, hearing screenings; bi-lingual nutrition/cooking workshops; access to health insurance enrollment; and “Run to College” program for students incorporating exercise/ STEM activities as motivating factors.

San Mateo County Office of Education & San Mateo County Community College District - Project Change

Project Change provides life-changing opportunities for incarcerated youth. A collaboration of the College of San Mateo, the County Office of Education, San Mateo County Probation and others, the program moves students seamlessly from incarceration to college. Founded by Project Director, Katie Bliss, Project Change is the first community college supported program in California to provide in-person college instruction inside juvenile youth facilities, wrap-around services, direct access to postsecondary education, and ongoing support. Project Change demonstrates the amazing outcomes that can result when systems and partners align and work together on behalf of our youth.

San Mateo County Office of Education - San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative

For the past three years, the County Office of Education has hosted the San Mateo Environmental Learning Collaborative (SMELC). This semester-long professional learning opportunity takes a cohort of teachers through the process of designing and implementing project-based and place-based units of study, centered around California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts (EP&Cs). The SMELC process engages teachers in a three-day institute, ongoing coaching and workshops, facilitating partnerships with nonformal environmental education providers, and concludes with a capstone event where teachers share challenges, successes, and student work from their units.

San Mateo-Foster City SD - Bayside Academy FAB Lab

FAB Lab is an evening of hands-on learning and discovery with 20 activity tables and exploration stations held every March in the Bayside Academy gym to celebrate and showcase Bayside's STEM program. Students, families, staff and teachers gather to participate in building or exploring squish rockets, augmented reality sandboxes, robotics obstacle courses and much more. Students collaborate to build giant Sierpinski Pyramid art. Attendees bring home their creations to continue the discovery and fun of learning.

San Mateo Union High SD - Flex Time

Flex Time is a two-tiered program designed to give all students embedded access to academic support. On Wednesdays and Thursdays, during Aragon's block days, Flex Time is a 35-minute period during which students go to a teacher of their choice for make-up work, quiz/test re-takes, or project/assignment help. The second tier of the program, Intensive Flex Time, is designed specifically for students who have more than 2 Fs. Students in Intensive Flex are required to go to the library, where they receive additional support from counselors, administrators, and peer tutors, or a pass to a teacher in whose class they need targeted one-on-one support.

San Mateo Union High SD - Mental Health Wellness Program

San Mateo UHSD’s Mental Health Wellness program provides prevention and short-term intervention services for students facing social and emotional challenges that impact academic performance, attendance and behavior at school. Students may access wellness staff in a safe and supportive environment to discuss a variety of complex mental health issues. Students learn positive lifelong habits that contribute to their well-being and success. The program offers short-term individual, group and drop-in support in a confidential, non-judgmental space staffed with wellness counselors dedicated to improving the health, well-being and educational outcomes of all students.

Sequoia Union High SD - College Going East Palo Alto Academy

The vision of our Advisory program is to support the vision for all of our students to graduate college-ready, empowered with the knowledge, skills and passion to positively impact their own lives, their community and the global society. Through our Advisory program students will engage in a community that nurtures the whole child through social-emotional growth, college-readiness, and academic monitoring. It is the heart of our school; we believe that every student should have at least one adult on campus who will play the role of advocate and confidant.

Sequoia Union High SD - Woodside High School Senior Thesis

The Woodside High School Senior Thesis is a culminating research project completed by all graduates that results in a formal analytical argument of at least 2000 words. The accompanying assignments provide students a rigorous research and writing experience. The coordination of assignment between the English and social science departments ensures consistency and equity. This program requires significant planning, consistent review of expectations, careful assessment and regular revisions of all components. The Senior Thesis provides excellent practice in collegiate level research and writing, best preparing all Woodside graduates for the rigors of college and life beyond.

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