October 17, 2016    
Frank Vessels Elementary School Recognized
with Top Statewide Honor

The Cypress School District is pleased to announce that Frank Vessels Elementary School has been chosen as one of 56 recipients in the state to receive the prestigious Golden Bell Award. Sponsored by the California School Boards Association, the award recognizes innovative public school programs that make a difference for students. School officials will receive the award during a recognition ceremony on December 3 at the CSBA Annual Education Conference in San Francisco.

The school's award-winning program is called the Language, Literacy, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication Clinic. Developed by a team of special education professionals at Vessels, this evidence-based program supports the development of early literacy skills in nonverbal and minimally-verbal students with autism. The program is highly individualized to meet each student's unique language needs using a combination of low tech instructional strategies and high tech mobile devices with specialized software. Students are able to respond to teacher questions and express themselves using alternative communication methods, which results in increased levels of student participation.

Superintendent Anne Silavs remarked, "Communication is fundamental to one's quality of life. The ability to communicate enables us to connect with others and participate in the world around us. It is truly remarkable what the team at Vessels is doing to support our students with special needs. They are literally changing lives."

"California's K-12 public schools continue to produce some of the nation's best and brightest students, and our Golden Bell recipients are a reflection of that excellence as well as the spirit of innovation which is so characteristic of this state," said CSBA CEO and Executive  Director Vernon M. Billy. "The Golden Bell Awards recognize the quality and determination of school leaders from across California in meeting the needs of California's students through award-winning programs and services."

CSBA is a nonprofit 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 governance boards and district and county administrators to advocate for effective policies that advance the education and well-being of the state's more than 6 million school-age children.