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Hoffmann awards given to two Sunnyvale School District Schools

Fairwood Elementary School, and Cumberland Elementary School are each being recognized for outstanding educational programs with the 2016 Glenn W. Hoffmann Awards.
The award is named for the man who served as superintendent of Santa Clara County schools from 1967 to 1984.
All three school programs will be honored at an April 27 ceremony in Sunnyvale. Each program will receive $500. The winners are the Fairwood Explorer parent participation program at Fairwood Elementary School, the Project Based Learning-Leveraging Parent Engagement and Technology program at Cumberland Elementary and English Learner Program: Voice of New Americans in the Fremont Union High School District.
Cumberland Elementary's Project Based Learning sees teachers design standards-based curriculum across subjects for students in grades K -5. The project aims to teach the curriculum in fun, meaningful ways that also allow students to see the product of their effort.
Student projects include designing an advertisement to entice people to visit a planet of their own creation, researching charities and raising funds for a charity of the student's choosing, and brainstorming ideas for water conservation.
"Project-based learning is so important because it really engages students in learning rigorous content in a way that ignites excitement and deep learning," said Cumberland principal Edy Mourtos. "It also creates opportunities for students to practice key life skills such as collaborating, problem solving, creating and thinking critically."
The Fairwood Explorer's parent participation program began in 2009 when parents from five Sunnyvale families worked with the Sunnyvale School District to create an education program that focuses on intellectual, social and emotional development with an emphasis on collaboration between teachers and parents.
Parent-driven activities have ranged from twice-yearly stargazing evenings, an expanded art and music program and multicultural awareness events. In the past year, the school's parent community has participated in more than 20 enrichment classes that taught coding, gourmet cooking and half a dozen languages. Teachers rely on parents to be present in the classroom, participating two hours in class weekly.
"Fairwood Explorer is honored to be recognized for our unique program of choice by the Hoffmann Award selection committee," said Fairwood principal Jeffery Bryant. "We pride ourselves on forging meaningful relationships with our students' families, as these connections create a positive community of learners that benefit from the diverse experiences and backgrounds that are represented on our campus."
To view the whole Sunnyvale Sun article by Victoria Kezra click here.