August 9, 2013
On behalf of the Board of Trustees and our staff, we want to extend a warm welcome to the 2013-14 school year! We look forward to our continued collaborations with you and our dedicated community organizations in providing a quality educational program for all Sonoma Valley Unified School District (SVUSD) students.
As many of you are aware, our district vision includes a focus on all students being college and career ready upon graduation from high school. We know that in order for students to reach this goal we must start with our youngest learners. Our critical benchmarks along the way include:
- Completing a 1-2 year quality pre-school experience
- Reading at grade level by the end of third grade
- Achieving English and math proficiency by the beginning of sixth grade
- Readiness to successfully complete college prep course work by ninth grade
We are currently in the process of finalizing our strategic plan that, in part, addresses each of these benchmarks.
Schools start on August 21st and staff is prepared and looking forward to welcoming familiar faces as well as meeting new students and families. Middle school and high school parents will have already received our annual parent notifications handbook. Elementary students will receive handbooks on the first day of school to bring home to parents. If you need additional assistance, please contact your school office or call the district office (935-4246). You may also reach the district office via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Activities and Accomplishments
Thank you to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation for assisting the district in securing funds from community members as well as The Vadasz Family Foundation; Impact 100; The Sonoma Valley Fund, an affiliate of the Community Foundation Sonoma County; and The Todd Trust to assist with the district’s Summer School Learning Opportunities including:
- JumpStart Kindergarten for our youngest learners who have not previously attended pre-school held on our elementary school campuses
- Third Grade Reading Academy, focused on supporting students to read at grade level
- Transitions Summer School, an intervention and enrichment program for students transitioning from elementary to middle school and from middle to high school
- Algebra Boot Camp, offered to any interested incoming 9th grade student
Modeling what we do best – Teaching and Learning – a majority of SVUSD educators participated in numerous professional learning opportunities throughout the summer. Teachers learned more about Common Core State Standards (what children are expected to learn and know in each classroom); integrating science and language (The Exploratorium Project); expanding Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) programs, and much, much more! Educators are excited about sharing their new learning with both students and colleagues.
The district continues to collaborate with our valued community partnerships to bring the best possible educational opportunities to our students. The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation is providing tremendous support to our schools with a variety of effective programs including Teacher Support Network (community members supporting high school students and teachers by volunteering in classrooms and assisting with Senior Projects), The Exploratorium Project (integrating science and language learning at all elementary schools) and Preschool for All (an expanding program for kindergarten readiness). In addition to serving our elementary and middle school students in After School Education and Safety Programs (at five of our schools), The Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley will continue its focus on increasing the number of students in our community who apply to and gain entrance into college. 10,000 Degrees will have approximately 30 students in its program this year at SVHS with an overall program and scholarship commitment of over $700,000 from high school through college completion. The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance is currently supporting over 450 students with mentors!
We are also extremely fortunate to have continued strong relationships with the CommonBond Foundation, La Luz Center, Nuestra Voz, Plein Air, Sonoma Community Center, Sonoma Ecology Center, Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Sonoma Valley Teen Services, and WillMar Family Grief and Healing Center. We are also excited about the opportunities which our service organizations have provided to the school district and are incredibly thankful to the Kiwanis Club of Sonoma Valley, Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley, and Soroptimist Club of Sonoma Valley, all whom donate generously to programs in our school district.
For the first time since becoming Superintendent in 2010, I’m pleased to report that we are not in the process of making budget reductions in the coming school year. With the passage of Proposition 30 last November as well as additional state funding, we are now in the process of restoring specific services and programs which were reduced last year. This includes restoring library hours as well as providing additional custodial support to campuses. We are excited about our work moving forward without the burden of budget reductions.
Our Board’s agendas and minutes can be found on our website at www.svusdca.org and we encourage you to give us input/feedback and attend Board meetings. Regular Board meetings are scheduled for the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 PM at the Community Meeting Room located at 177 First Street West. The Board of Trustees and I always welcome phone calls, letters and e-mails.
Please join us in the work ahead. We have dedicated staff, talented administrators, and a special community that supports our schools. Please remember that your individual and collective contributions to your school make an enormous difference, and we thank you in advance for your participation!
Louann Carlomagno, Superintendent & Dan Gustafson, SVUSD Board President
Please join us at The Red and White Ball, a fundraiser for SVUSD schools, hosted by The Sonoma Valley Education Foundation on Saturday, August 24th! (www.svgreatschools.org)