Winners of the 2022 California Pivotal Practice Award Program were announced on Tuesday

PASO ROBLES — Winners of the newly created 2022 California Pivotal Practice (CAPP) Award Program were announced on Tuesday by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond.

These schools and districts implemented an innovative practice during the 2020–21 school year when California required schools to offer distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CAPP award program is being utilized by California in 2022 in place of the California Distinguished Schools Program.

In a period when pandemic disruptions made it hard to collect data for statewide assessments, the CDE worked with education association partners to create the CAPP Award to honor the efforts of schools and districts who designed and implemented unique opportunities and strategies to support students in this most challenging time.


Virginia Peterson Elementary School’s implementation of academic support during distance and hybrid learning was pivotal to student growth. At Virginia Peterson, they use well-implemented multi-tiered systems of support to help students with academic as well as social-emotional learning.

The implementation of academic standards was reliant upon a number of factors. Teachers were tasked with developing online classrooms and learning portals for student and parent access to instruction. Teachers continued teaching the Second Step social-emotional curriculum during both distance and hybrid instruction. Students on hybrid scheduling had one day of distance learning, followed by four half days of in-person instruction. These groups were designed to lessen the class size and decrease the chance of spreading COVID-19. Safety protocols were in place at our school site, and students thrived in small groups. Diagnostic data comparisons from the beginning of the school year to the end of the school year showed that students made significant progress and benefitted from the return to hybrid instruction.

The school principal personally contacted families who decided to continue distance learning, even after being given the opportunity to return for hybrid instruction. Students who were not progressing or who were not attending daily virtual instruction were progress monitored weekly by the principal in partnership with the online teachers. Parents of at-risk students were contacted by the principal and encouraged to return to hybrid learning. At the end of the school year, only 36 students of 385 total students were on distance learning, and all others had returned to in-person learning. Students were supported on-site with reading and mathematics interventions, as well as online support as needed.

Principal Maggie Tatman states, “This recognition is important to me and our staff because it represents all of the hard work that we have done to create systems of support for all of our Pandas. We strive to support students academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally. I work with an amazing team of educators who go above and beyond to support all of our students. I am so appreciative of them and to our school community as a whole.”

With great pride, the district congratulates Principal Maggie Tatman, Guidance Specialist Monica Pafumi, and the entire Virginia Peterson Elementary staff. Read more here.