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Redlands Unified recognized with distinguished California education honor

By MaryRone Shell | @MaryRoneRUSD

Redlands Unified School District

December 13, 2019

2019 Golden Bell Winner ACC Program

(L-R: Superintendent Mauricio Arellano, RUSD Board President Cristina Puraci, ACC Diane Baker, ACC Adam Sipes (behind), Coordinator Dr. Peter Lock, ACC Julie Homutoff, ACC Ruth Sotomayor, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Ken Wagner (behind), Counselor Jon Best)


SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The Redlands Unified School District (RUSD) and its Academic Case Carrier (ACC) program were selected as one of 57 recipients of California’s leading educational honor, the Golden Bell Award at the annual event held at the San Diego Marriott Marquis.


The Golden Bell Awards, celebrating their 40th year, were presented by the California School Boards Association (CSBA) to promote excellence in public education and school board governance by recognizing outstanding programs and governance practices.


“We are truly honored and humbled by this coveted recognition,” said Superintendent Mauricio Arellano. “This award validates the ‘heart work’ that our ACCs take part in each day. They are truly making a difference and changing the trajectory for our students.”


The Golden Bell Awards reflect the depth and breadth of education programs and governance decisions supporting these programs that are necessary to address students’ changing needs.


“The ACC program is led by a team of individuals who go above and beyond to support the foster, homeless and other ‘at-promise’ youth in all RUSD secondary schools,” said Dr. Peter Lock, coordinator of elementary counselors and ACCs. “They work with students and families to not only help students graduate from high school, but also determine and build the post-graduation path that students most want to follow.”


Academic Case Carriers work in partnership with academic counselors to help determine the needs and track the progress of the students. They help to facilitate tutoring services, collaborate with teachers and staff, and help students look to the future – whether that is college, a technical career, or the military. 


The ACC program was established in 2016 as a part of the District’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).


This program supports the District’s firm commitment to achieving equality through equity as outlined in the multi-year vision plan RUSD 2025: EXCELLENCE FOR ALL STUDENTS by offering focused and comprehensive support to its most at-risk secondary students.


The main goals of this program include:

  • Ensuring the student is in the best position to earn a high school diploma
  • Assisting with and connecting the students to post-high school career and educational opportunities
  • Connect students to school, District, and community resources
  • Work with families, educational rights holders, parents and guardians regarding academic and support strategies
  • Ensure important service providers are included in school meetings
  • Follow up on special education services and modifications (when and where needed) 

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