Category: Visalia Unified School District

Eligible or Ready?

Prior to development of the California School Dashboard, our focus was primarily on getting kids to graduation, ensuring that those who wanted to go to college met all the entrance criteria for the school of their choice, and helping all other students have some chance of landing a job.

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Finding Common Ground

School campuses are places where students come into daily contact with other children with different backgrounds and experiences. Children hear, consider and learn from different opinions and viewpoints, and they learn much by coming into contact with each other across the 13-year span of a public education.

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Who We Are

Every year, I make presentations to local service clubs and other groups about the progress of the school district. One part of the presentation that frequently generates interest from the audience is the description of the demographics of our student population.

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Planning for Growth

Among the most challenging things that we face from a planning perspective is enrollment growth, and by mid-year, we are deep into decision making regarding anticipated changes in enrollment. When considering growth, it is important to note that growth is a good thing for schools. Growing enrollment means that programs that serve kids can grow.

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Assessing Our Progress

In late September, the State Department of Education released to the public standardized testing scores for schools and districts across California. This was the third release of scores under the new assessment system, the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP).

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Know the Signs

School age child suicide is a reality. Visalia is not exempt from this sad truth. Having someone we know complete suicide shocks and saddens us, and the impact is even greater somehow when younger kids do so. Suicide can be prevented, and Visalia Unified is engaging in a campaign to help our schools and community understand how we can promote life-supporting factors and resources that protect against suicide.

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Maintaining Success

Last month, I described t`he opening of our two newest schools. This month, I wish to shed some light on important things that happen every summer that, if done well, can go unnoticed. With teachers and students on break, summer represents an opportunity to do significant work by our facilities, grounds, and custodial services.

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The Promise of a New Year

In just a few days, students will return to school and we will open the 2017-2018 school year. This is a great time, as every new school year brings the pleasure of reconnecting with familiar people and things, as well as the excitement of experiencing things that are new. This fall, we open two schools that reflect both of these themes for students and staff.

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The Year in Review

A school year has a natural cycle that influences a community markedly. When school starts in the fall, we reflect the optimism of a new academic year with new classes and teachers, sometimes new schools, and the chance for a fresh start to learning after a break, presenting the opportunity for renewed enthusiasm for learning and achievement.

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It Happens Every Spring

Nope – this isn’t a piece on baseball! It’s about another spring activity in school districts: goal setting. Every year at about this time, the Visalia Unified Board of Trustees sets goals for the upcoming school year. This February, the Board engaged once more in the goalsetting process for our District and came away with an approach that is very familiar, but more strategic: The goals for the present year were confirmed and extended for the next five years.

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