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BUSD to be honored in Golden Bell Awards

Desert Dispatch

BARSTOW • Barstow Unified School District will be honored for its professional development and teacher recruitment and retention in the 33rd Annual Golden Bell Awards Program this year.

The school district won the award for the first time as part of its Collaborative Coaching Model for Teachers under the direction of Teresa Healy, assistant superintendent of Educational Services in Barstow. The model provides teachers with ongoing support to increase the academic success of all students.

The program was designed to help raise the district's Academic Performance Index and Adequate Yearly Progress scores, develop consistency in lesson delivery and provide professional development for teachers, according to a BUSD press release.

At its core, the model, implemented for grades K-12, encourages further collaboration between teachers in order to identify areas for improvement.

“We realized we needed to take the next step,” Healy said. “Teachers were collaborating but we needed to facilitate it more.”

The next step came in the adoption of Action Walks — a process by which small groups of fellow teachers go into classrooms and observe other teachers as they teach. Afterward, visiting teachers discuss their findings and where they feel they need additional resources. These post-observation discussions were led by one of five current BUSD instructional coaches, such as Cindy Espinoza.

“The model has been effective because the coaching process has evolved,” Espinoza said. “It’s based on feedback from teachers. ‘What would you like to see as your professional development?’ After all,” she added, “professional development is the standard for teachers.”

A special ceremony will be held during California School Board Association’s Awards Luncheon, in conjunction with the CSBA’s Annual Education Conference, at the Westin Saint Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Dec. 1, according to the release.

The California School Board Association is a nonprofit association that represents more than 1,000 school districts and county offices of education throughout California.

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