Newhall district schools selected as CAPP award winners

Signal file photo

News release  

Santa Clarita Valley’s Newhall School District received news this week that all 10 of its elementary schools, as well as the district itself, are winners of the 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program, a new initiative that lauds creativity and innovation implemented to meet COVID-19 challenges during the 2020-21 school year. 

According to a news release from the California Department of Education, CAPP “celebrates schools and districts that implemented an innovative practice during the 2020-21 school year, when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

CAPP Award winners were evaluated on their online application highlighting what they did to effectively support students and families in one of four target areas:  

• Student engagement. 

• Distribution of technology. 

• Nutrition services.  

• Social-emotional well-being of students. 

“This award acknowledges all the efforts of our staff who worked tirelessly last year throughout the pandemic to engage students during distance learning, to ensure our students had access to technology, and to provide additional social-emotional supports for students in crisis,” Newhall School District Superintendent Jeff Pelzel said in a prepared statement.  

“It is a reminder that it takes a village to raise a child,” he said, adding, “Thank you to everyone who helped put these supports in place.”  

The district’s CAPP Award-winning elementary schools are Dr. J. Michael McGrath, Meadows, Newhall, Oak Hills, Old Orchard, Peachland Avenue, Pico Canyon, Stevenson Ranch, Valencia Valley and Wiley Canyon.  

“This award recognizes everyone in all 10 schools who had to pivot, strategize and innovate during COVID,” said district board President Donna Rose. “Classified and non-classified staff at all 10 schools, including administrators and teachers — everyone had to be a part of the solution, and all 10 schools are recognized for extraordinary work.” 

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond stated in the media release that he was “incredibly proud” of all 727 schools and 121 school districts throughout the state that received this award. The CDE website ( features the complete list of 2022 CAPP School Awardees and  2022 CAPP District Awardees. More information about the CAPP Award, including the four target areas for innovation, is available on the CDE CAPP Program web page

The CAPP Award Program is being utilized by the California Department of Education in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program. According to the CDE’s media release, the 2020-21 school year was a period when pandemic disruptions made it hard to collect data for statewide assessments, and it is anticipated that the CDE will transition back to the California Distinguished Schools Program in 2023.  

All CAPP Award Program winners will receive a certificate from the state superintendent of public instruction and a California Pivotal Practice Award Program flag that can be displayed at each school or district. 

From 2003 to 2018, every Newhall district school was recognized by the state of California as a California Distinguished School. 

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS