We appreciate our involved parents and community members. We also enjoy broadcasting our latest news and information here on our News page, where we will chronicle school activities and student achievements and publish announcements. We’ll also offer helpful resources and information. So check back often; we’ll update it regularly.

Charles Helmers Elementary School Recognized As A Model Professional Learning Community At Work ®

Charles Helmers Elementary School is part of the Saugus Union School District (SUSD) and is now one of 23 California schools and one of about 600 schools and districts in the United States and Canada to receive this honor.

Professional Learning Communities (PLC) has been a district-wide initiative in SUSD for addressing the learning needs of all students and addressing the learning loss that is still evident as a result of the COVID pandemic. Charles Helmers Elementary School was recently recognized by Solution Tree for its sustained success in raising student achievement. The school’s successful implementation of the Professional Learning Communities at Work ® process was a major contributing factor in the improved achievement of its students. Helmers was also recognized as a California distinguished school during the elementary cycle for 2023.

PLCs are schools and districts in which educators recognize the key to improved learning for students is on-going, job-embedded learning for the adults who serve those students. The three big ideas of a PLC call upon educators to:

  1. Focus on learning.
  2. Build a collaborative culture.
  3. Create a results orientation.

Responding to news of the recognition, Principal Michelle Velikorodnyy said, “We are thrilled to celebrate our collaborative success for all students’ academic progress!”

Schools are recognized based on strict criteria including demonstration of a commitment to PLC concepts, implementation of these concepts for at least three years, and clear evidence of improved student learning over that period. Once measurable results can be seen, the school must explain its practices, structures, and culture and submit its application for consideration by the PLC Review Committee.

According to the champions of PLC at Work ®, educators in the schools and districts selected for this recognition have shown “a sustained commitment to helping all of their students achieve at high levels. They have been willing to alter the structure and culture of the organization to reflect their commitment. We applaud them and congratulate them for achieving this very significant milestone on the never-ending PLC journey.” “The educational team at Charles Helmers Elementary truly live the PLC philosophy. They are not only a model for our SUSD team, but now they are a model for the state and the nation. We are thrilled that their efforts have received this honor,” Colleen Hawkins, superintendent of Saugus Union School District.

Recognized model PLC schools are listed on All Things PLC website where they share implementation strategies, structures, and performance with other educators interested in improving their schools. Tools for team collaboration, articles and research about PLCs, blog posts, and other related resources are also available on the site. The site was developed and is maintained by Solution Tree, a leading provider of educational strategies and tools that improve staff and student performance. For more than 25 years, Solution Tree resources have helped k–12 teachers and administrators create schools where all children succeed.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Michelle Velikorodnyy
School: Charles Helmers Elementary
Address: 27300 Grandview Drive, Valencia, CA 91351
Phone: (661) 294-5345

Name: Colleen Hawkins, Ed.D.
School: Saugus Union School District
Phone: (661) 294-5300

View All District Announcements