Special Education Program to Receive Multiple Awards from Two Statewide Organizations

Innovative program that raises the quality of education for students with significant disabilities is set to be recognized by California County Boards of Education and California School Boards Association

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SANDI to receive the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association and the Apple for Excellence Award from the California County Boards of Education.

RIVERSIDE – Developed in 2003 by special educators at the Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE), the Student Annual Needs Determination Inventory (SANDI) was aimed at providing the 23 school districts in Riverside County with student-centered summative and formative assessment data specifically for special education students. Thirteen years later, the program has been implemented by 41 districts/programs across the country (including large public school systems in New York and Chicago) and will receive two statewide awards for excellence.

This week, SANDI will be one of 56 recipients of the Golden Bell Award from the California School Boards Association (CSBA). In addition, the program will be honored with the Apple for Excellence Award from the California County Boards of Education (CCBE) that is bestowed upon the top Golden Bell Award recipient in the county office of education category. Both awards will be presented at a recognition ceremony to be held on Saturday, December 3, from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m., at CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis (780 Mission Street).

The Student Annual Needs Determination Inventory (SANDI) was developed for the specific purpose of providing the 23 Riverside County school districts and county office-operated special education programs access to student-centered summative and formative assessment data to drive teacher collaboration and increase student achievement. For students with significant disabilities, SANDI mirrors the general education best practice of focusing on data-driven instruction.

With SANDI, special educators have, for the first time, the opportunity to assess students in a meaningful way and analyze student data to inform instruction.  When teachers are able to focus interventions based on current assessment results, instructional strategies can be crafted to address gaps in student learning.

SANDI assists educators in building strong, positive teacher-parent relationships by providing assessment information in a meaningful format for generating student data-based standards reports to show the proficiency levels.  The program brings out the potential, the dignity, and the achievement for students with significant disabilities.

Published in partnership with Lakeshore Learning Materials, the program is available nationwide to assist districts in their work with special education students. The collaboration with Lakeshore also includes technical support and the offering of more than 50 professional development sessions every year across the nation.

The CSBA Golden Bell award recognizes public school programs that are innovative and sustainable, make a demonstrated difference for students, and focus on meeting the needs of all public school students. Experts from school districts and county offices of education made up the 16-member judging panel that reviewed the written entries made the initial recommendations for the awards. On-site validators assessed the programs in action. The 2016 award will be the 11th Golden Bell received by RCOE since 2005.

The CCBE Apple for Excellence Award recognizes outstanding programs administered by county offices of education reflecting the depth and breadth of a county education program necessary to address students’ changing needs. This award is bestowed upon the top program(s) in the County Office of Education category of CSBA’s Golden Bell Awards. Award winners are selected by the CCBE Awards Committee. Riverside County Office of Education was previously awarded an Apple for Excellence award in 2013 for the College Connection Program that provides individual and academic transitional support to foster students. 

About Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE)

The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE) is a service agency supporting the county’s 23 school districts that serve 430,000 students—more than the student population of 17 states. RCOE services include administrative support to districts, programs for preschool, special education, pregnant minors, correctional, migrant and vocational students. In addition, the organization provides professional training, support and resources for more than 18,000 teachers, administrators and staff throughout the 7,000 square miles of Riverside County. Learn more at www.rcoe.us. 

About California School Boards Association (CSBA)

CSBA is the non-profit education association representing the elected officials who govern public school districts and county offices of education. With a membership of nearly 1,000 educational agencies statewide, CSBA brings together school governing boards and district and county office administrators to advocate for effective policies that advance the education and well-being of the state’s more than 6 million school-age children. Learn more at www.csba.org.

About California County Boards of Education (CCBE)
California County Boards of Education is a statewide organization representing and serving the unique needs of California’s 58 county boards of education. As the voice for county boards of education at the state and federal level, CCBE impacts policies and legislation affecting all public schools. In 1958, the California County Boards of Education was recognized by CSBA as a “section” of CSBA following a major statutory and constitutional revision of county offices of education. Learn more at www.theccbe.org.

About Lakeshore Learning Materials

Lakeshore Learning Materials is a leading developer and retailer of top-quality materials for early childhood education programs, elementary schools and homes nationwide. Since 1954, Lakeshore has offered innovative learning materials distinguished by their quality, educational merit and safety. To learn more, visit LakeshoreLearning.com.