SAN JOSE, CA – At the February 21 Board meeting, the Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) honored Alum Rock Elementary Union School District (AREUSD) and Franklin-McKinley School District with the 2018 Leadership in Early Care and Education Award. Dr. Hilaria Bauer, AREUSD Superintendent and Juan Cruz, FMSD Superintendent, were on hand to accept the awards.
Both school districts are members of the Strong Start Coalition, a group of education and community partners focused on providing high quality early learning opportunities for students in Santa Clara County. Coalition partners and member districts are working to close the equity access and achievement gap, by acknowledging the importance of early care in education. The Leadership in Early Care and Education Award, honors the efforts in creating a prenatal to third grade health and early learning system plan.
"The work that Alum Rock and Franklin-McKinley is doing is impressive," said Dr. Mary Ann Dewan, Santa Clara County Superintendent of Schools. "Their strategic plans ensure that by third grade, all children in their districts are healthy, thriving and on the path to reach their full potential in school and life."
Trustee Darcie Green, who represents Area 6 which includes both school districts, presented the leadership award plaques. Trustee Green commented that in the past year, Alum Rock has made great strides in meeting the priorities of its student population with the vision of Dr. Bauer.
"The prenatal to third grade health and early learning system plan honors the AREUSD philosophy that every student in the district, regardless of background has a right to a high-quality education that challenges the student to achieve to his or her fullest potential."
In honoring Franklin-McKinley, Trustee Green noted that the district understands that learning begins at birth, and all children are capable of achieving their full potential in school and life. This belief inspired the development of Franklin-McKinley's prenatal to third grade health and early learning system plan. This plan takes a "whole person, life-course approach" that addresses the multiple and intersecting determinants that influence the health, education, and well being of children and families.
The Santa Clara County Office of Education, the County Board of Education, and the Strong Start Initiative appreciates the partnerships that allow the transformation of education in Santa Clara County through leadership, service, and advocacy. Both Alum Rock and Franklin-McKinley and their work in early education genuinely exemplify the SCCOE values of Students First, Collaboration, Innovation, and Service.
"We thank Dr. Bauer and Superintendent Cruz for their leadership, and we also thank the many community partners who have helped make this vision a reality," said Trustee Grace Mah, who also serves as the Strong Start Coalition Chair. "The County Board of Education is aware and appreciative each and every day of your extraordinary efforts, and we enjoy seeing the positive impact you make in your community."
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The Santa Clara County Office of Education (SCCOE) is a regional service agency that provides instructional and business services to the 31 school districts of Santa Clara County. The SCCOE serves students through special education programs, alternative schools, Head Start and State Preschool programs, migrant education, and Opportunity Youth Academy. The Office also provides curriculum support, staff development, and technology support and training directly to teachers and staff in schools countywide.