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Hacienda La Puente Unified Schools Honored for Excellence in Civic Learning
Posted 5/12/23

CITY OF INDUSTRY Hacienda La Puente Unified schools have received nine out of the eighteen 2023 Civic Learning Awards from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Chief Justice Patricia Guerrero, recognizing their strong commitment to integrating civics education throughout campus and fostering positive citizenship both ins and out of the classroom.


The awards were presented on May 2 to elementary, middle and high schools at three levels: Excellence, Distinction and Merit. Palm Elementary School was one of three schools presented with the Award of Distinction. The Award of Merit recognized 12 recipients, including Los Robles Academy, Nelson Elementary School and Orange Grove and Sierra Vista middle schools. In addition, Del Valle and Workman elementary schools, Sparks Middle School and La Puente High School were four of 12 schools to receive an honorable mention.


“On behalf of the entire Board of Education, I want to thank all our outstanding teachers, staff and administrators for discovering innovative ways to provide community-based educational experiences for our students,” Board President Christine H. Salazar said. “These honors represent our District’s commitment to activating student voices, expanding civics within the classroom and preparing them with the skills and confidence to be well-informed and well-rounded citizens and help build a better tomorrow.”


This year, 38 schools submitted applications, followed by a rigorous scoring process administered by educators and representatives experienced in civics education and service learning from the California Department of Education and the California Judicial Branch.


When asked about their success implementing civics in their lesson plans this school year, HLPUSD principals said their school's personalized New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) focuses helped them integrate civics campus-wide. Some of these unique practices include participating in mock city council meetings, engaging in law-related education programs and campaigning on community issues to effect change.


"The Palm family is very fortunate to be honored with the 2023 Civic Learning Award - Award of Distinction,” Principal Sandy Carbajal said. "Our NPDL focus this year was 'Going Green' and our team created multiple opportunities for our students to become leaders as we transition our campus into a Green School. Some of our initiatives this year include our Green Club's creation of ‘Go Green Tuesdays,’ our leadership students' strong support of our recycling cause and so much more. Collectively, our Panthers are making a ‘Green’ difference in our school, community and world."


The Board of Education and Superintendent Dr. Alfonso Jiménez publicly announced the schools' achievements with a special shout-out and applause during the in-person/virtual Board meeting on May 4. The award recipients were also honored during the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s California Democracy School showcase on May 6.


"Congratulations to all our amazing students, teachers, staff and administrators on receiving this remarkable honor at not one but nine of our Hacienda La Puente Unified schools," Jiménez said. "Our District is proud to offer countless civic engagement opportunities for all students that focus on community issues and provide them with knowledge, skills, values and confidence to be active citizens and cultivate positive change."






HLPUSD_CIVICLEARNING1: Nelson and Del Valle elementary schools’ Project Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) students collaborate with city council members during a mock City of La Puente council meeting on May 1.


HLPUSD_CIVICLEARNING2: Sierra Vista Middle School students and staff attend the Los Angeles County Office of Education’s California Democracy School showcase at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum on May 6.


HLPUSD_CIVICLEARNING3: Palm Elementary School Green Club students display hand-painted “Going Green Tuesday” banners around campus to promote their environmentally friendly and energy-efficient weekly initiative.