SACRAMENTO, Calif., December 14, 2019 –The Penn Valley Union Elementary School Districtwas selected as one of 57 recipients of California’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award. The Golden Bell Awards, celebrating their 40th year, are presented by the California School Boards Association to promote excellence in public education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices. The awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.

Penn Valley Union Elementary School District received its award at a well-attended reception and ceremony on Dec. 5, 2019,at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. The awards ceremony was part of CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show held from Dec. 5-7 in San Diego. The conference is the premier continuing education event for California school boards and the largest education leadership conference in the state.

ME (Meaningful Enrichment) Time was designed to support all students with their academic, social-emotional and behavior needs. Through the use of various data points, students are grouped in blocks for six to eight weeks. Some students receive additional intervention supports, while others are pushed up to higher levels, allowing them to expand their learning and growth through enrichment. The program reserves sacred time out of each day for all grade levels where every staff member is pushing into various groupings. Staff in a variety of specialized capacities, including Title I and special education, work with groups that may or may not be students who would otherwise be identified to serve. The program’s ultimate goal is to have all students feel as if they are equal during this learning period. Data drives the learning cycles and teachers create the supports they see fit best for long-term academic growth.

“ME Time has been our long-term vision the past four years in the Penn Valley School District.  It is more of a philosophy that naturally led to a path of student support.  By allowing students time to sit and learn with others with similar needs, each child begins to understand they are more similar than different from others.  Whether a student is high or low in a specific area, they know there is support to help find greater success to build confidence and self-esteem for life-long learning.” ~ Dr. Torie F. England

A judging panel composed of experts from school districts and county offices of education across the state reviewed written entries and made initial recommendations. On-site validators then reviewed the recommendations and assessed the programs in action. This year’s Golden Bell winners demonstrated that they are addressing student needs through areas such as equity and access, school climate and safety, technology and wellness.

“Now more than ever is a time to acknowledge and celebrate innovative and impactful programs that make a difference in the lives of our young people,” said CSBA CEO & Executive Director Vernon M. Billy. “This year’s Golden Bell winners truly serve as beacons of success as we work to more fully and equitably serve all of California’s public school students.”

To learn more about the Golden Bell awards and all the winners, visit the program’s website at