After an on-site visit of the school’s Therapeutic Program, the CSBA notified Principal Catherine Nicholas and Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht of the award. The school’s application for the award included a video produced by SCVTV.
“It brings a sense of pride because of all the hard work the staff members do here,” said Catherine Nicholas, principal of the 55-student school. “They all work together as a team to serve the students socially, emotionally and academically so the whole child can meet their goals. Without this therapeutic setting, some of these students would not be able to get an education.”
With a staff of licensed therapists, teachers, aides and administrators, Sequoia School offers students struggling socially and emotionally on comprehensive campuses a chance to enhance their education. Students and their families receive services through their Individual Education Plan (IEP), as well as groups participating in dog therapy, yoga, equine therapy, martial arts, etc.
“Receiving a Golden Bell Award is a significant honor for any school district in the state of California,” said Hart District Governing Board President Bob Jensen. “The Hart District’s Sequoia School is well-deserved of receiving this distinguished award. The accomplishments of Sequoia, and the impact that Sequoia has had on the lives of its students, represents the Hart District’s commitment to the betterment of students, families and our community.”
According to the award’s website, The CSBA Golden Bell Awards promotes excellence in education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices of school boards in school districts and county offices of education throughout California. Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.
The Golden Bell Awards Reception and Ceremony will take place on Thursday, December 5, 2019, from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina. Sequoia School won under the Alternative Education category. Other school districts will now be able to replicate what the school is doing for its students.