It’s called “Me Time.” |

It’s called “Me Time.”

Sam Corey, Union Staff Writer

Penn Valley Union Elementary wins California School Boards Award

A few years ago, the Penn Valley Union Elementary School District instituted an enrichment program to improve student learning and engagement.

Now, the district is being honored for it.

District Superintendent Torie England said it won the Accountability/ Assessment California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award on Oct. 17. There are 20 different categories for Golden Bell Awards.

It’s really a “pat on the back for teachers,” said England, noting that the award is void of financial support.

This is the first year Me Time has been fully implemented in the district, said England. The 45-minute, four-days-per-week program caters to kids’ needs. They can participate in either higher level projects (like tinkering with robotics), engage in an intervention program (if needed) or develop their social interaction skills, said England.

Students are not sorted based on grade level, but rather on what they want to do and what their teachers recommend for them. Older students, said England, have more say in the program.

While not aimed to improve test scores, England said Me Time helps to do that as well.

“Teachers have had a lot of buy-in with it,” said England. In fact, “It’s completely teacher driven.”

England said the school district received a $50,000 grant to bolster the program two and a half years ago. Every month teachers meet to discuss how Me Time is working for their students.

“It was really powerful,” said England.

The superintendent will attend a December California School Boards Association conference in San Diego to accept the award.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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