Lynwood, Calif. – The Lynwood Unified School District is being recognized with a prestigious Golden Bell Award for a program that is helping the District close the achievement gap.

The District’s Data Reflection Model, which was sparked by the goals outlined in Lynwood Unified’s Achieving Greatness strategic plan, has earned acclaim by the California School Boards Association (CSBA), through its Golden Bell Award, which highlights outstanding educational programs that address the ever-changing needs of students. Lynwood Unified will be formally recognized Dec. 16 during a ceremony at the CSBA’s Annual Education Conference and Trade Show in San Francisco.

The Data Reflection Model, which was initiated in September 2011, has created a system-wide structure that allows teams of educators at each school site to analyze student performance throughout the year to identify barriers to achievement, collaborating to ultimately develop tools and support to help students succeed.

“This program is intricately connected to our vision to prepare every student for success in college and career,” said Board of Education President Briseida Gonzalez, MSW. “That vision also ensures that every student has the same opportunities to succeed through a variety of programs, support systems and interventions. I am so pleased with our results and am thrilled to see our District continue this positive momentum.”

Lynwood Unified has demonstrated success under this data-driven model, experiencing significant growth on the Academic Performance Index (API), a statewide accountability measure used to evaluate school and school district success in terms of student achievement.

Between 2011 and 2013, Lynwood Unified saw:

  • a 34-point increase in Academic Performance Index (API) scores,  from 689 to 723;
  • significant API growth for all student subgroups, including a 18-point increase for African-American students; a 12-point increase for Hispanic/Latino students; a 32-point increase for students with disabilities; and a 14-point increase for students classified as socioeconomically disadvantaged; and
  • a decrease in drop-out rates, from 32.2 percent in 2010, to 18 percent.

“It is our firm belief that every child deserves access to college and we have a moral responsibility to prepare them for that,” said Superintendent Paul Gothold. “This program has allowed us to really focus on what’s best for all children, not just some. The results have been amazing and immediate.”

The District began implementing the Data Reflection Model by providing training for each school’s team of educators. K-12 teachers throughout the district developed grade-level standards-based curriculum matrices, which outlined key standards students should be learning in six-week cycles.

Every six weeks, the site-level teams meet in on-campus rooms that house student data graphs, instructional standards posters and achievement data based on each of the following subgroups: Hispanic, English learners, Special Education, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and males and females. The teams review data for each subgroup, reflecting on teachers finding success in a particular standard. Those teachers share their instructional strategies so that others can replicate their success.

Lynwood Unified is undergoing strategic planning to further develop and refine its priorities and how it can best serve students. The District is looking for community members, parents, staff, students and teachers to take part in specialized committees that will help implement each priority. To participate, contact Griselda Rodriguez in the Educational Services Department at (310) 886-1695 or The committees are expected to begin their work in mid- November and work through March. Each group will set its own meeting schedule.