by Elena Gaeta, Contributing Writer, Valle Lindo School District

In the heart of South El Monte lies a school district like no other. Established in 1863 the Valle Lindo School District has continued their commitment to excellence. This district has had several accomplishments including California Distinguished Schools, California Gold Ribbon Schools, Title I Academic Achievement Awards, AVID Schoolwide Site of Distinction, Campaign for Business & Education Excellence Star Honor Roll and California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award in several categories – Outstanding Co-Curricular Program: “Engage, Perform, Inspire, Connect”, Outstanding Curriculum – Science: “Zingy Science”, Outstanding SAF Program: “Eight Building Blocks of Character Education”, Outstanding Bridging the Achievement Gap Program: “Closing the Gap in Student Achievement”.

Recently, the Flippen Group, “was proud to announce Valle Lindo School District has achieved the honor of becoming a Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase School District for the 2019-2020 school year”. This is by no means an easy achievement. The Valle Lindo School District was selected as 1 of only 6 districts nationwide who received this level of recognition. It takes the hard work of an entire team making sure that they are making those thoughtful daily connections with students and families.

Both New Temple Elementary School (TK-4th Grade) and Dean L. Shively Middle School (5-8th Grade) were recognized as Capturing Kids’ Hearts National Showcase Schools for the 2019-2020 school year. It truly takes a village. From the administrators, supervisors and teachers that are greeting students as they first come onto campus, to the cafeteria and custodial staff that make sure schools are clean and meals are ready just for them. Having every person at each campus be a part of this achievement truly shows that VLSD took the Capturing Kids’ Hearts (CKH) motto seriously, “If you have a child’s heart, you have their mind”. This also means that students are more engaged when they know they have someone at school who truly cares about their scholastic success.

Although the students and staff now face different challenges with distance learning, the goals are still the same when it comes to Capturing Kids’ Hearts. Instead of the daily interactions that would take place on campus, we now see teachers check-in with students virtually to make sure that students have what they need to succeed. We also see Google Meets, where staff are dedicated to providing students the opportunity to interact with others through dance, STEM and Fun Fridays for games and activities. As we are all eager to get back to what our new norm will be, teachers and staff are preparing for the next chapter of maintaining CKH throughout the district. Handshakes may be replaced by fist bumps and morning greetings may take place online, but one thing is for sure – relationships are the key and the goal is to keep the momentum of CKH going.

To learn more about Valle Lindo School District visit www.vallelindo.k12.ca.us.