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 Vista Unified's Personal Learning Challenge Wins Statewide Award

The Vista Unified School District has been chosen as one of 56 recipients of the state’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award. The Golden Bell Award, now in its 37th year, is sponsored by the California School Boards Association. The 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. Vista Unified will receive its award at a recognition ceremony to be held Dec 3. at CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show.

The Personal Learning Challenge program was developed in Vista Unified to address the community need for a greater level of student engagement and ownership of the learning process. The goal of the Personal Learning Challenge project is to create a custom learning pathway that is personalized for each student. According to Dr. Matt Doyle, assistant superintendent of innovation, the Personal Learning project is “our district moonshot that challenges the traditional model of one-size-fits-all education.”

Five schools were involved in the Personal Learning Challenge program: Temple Heights Elementary, Casita Elementary, Rancho Minerva Middle, VIDA Middle and Vista High School.

“Following digital infusion, personal learning is the next great lever of education in our country. Students who experience it will be better prepared to take advantage of the opportunities of the 21st century talent economy,” said Vista Superintendent Devin Vodicka.

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. This year’s award is presented to school districts and county offices of education helping students achieve through after-school programs, mentoring, instructional interventions, use of data and other innovations.

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.