Welcome back to the AUHSD family of 30,000 students, 1,300 teachers, 60 counselors, 1,400 classified staff, and 90 administrators. I know all of us are looking ahead to a great year.
At AUHSD, we are preparing our 30,000 students for college, careers, and a successful, as well as a fulfilling, life. Although test scores are important, they are not the drivers of everything we do.
Time and again, I ask parents what they want for their child when they graduate. Parents tell me they want their child to have skills for success; skills like working in groups (collaboration), expressing themselves verbally and in writing (communication), thinking on their feet (creativity), knowing how to find solutions (critical thinking), and having integrity, kindness, and empathy for others (character)... Read Complete Message
During each day that I have served as superintendent of the Anaheim Union High School District, I have learned something new and witnessed something inspirational.
As we continue this journey, I am sure that, like me, you cannot wait to see what great successes are on our horizon. As we look forward to building on those successes, my hope is that we allow ourselves the time to reflect and celebrate the robust and thriving state of our District.
One of our great successes was achieved with your help—the approval in
November 2014 of Measure H, our $249 million school bond. There are many people to credit for our victory. They worked tirelessly to meet stakeholders, make presentations, answer difficult questions, and build trust. It all paid off when 59.1 percent of voters said yes to the bond and yes to the good work we do every day. You’ll learn more about the progress we have made on Measure H in this Community Report.
While the community was supporting us at the polls, our students were bringing it full circle and supporting the community through service activities. I am proud of our students for displaying a commitment to service by advocating for causes that are important to them. We are able to capture all that energy and commitment during the annual AUHSD Servathon, which coincides with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday and National Day of Service. During the 2015 inaugural event, more than 4,000 AUHSD students, led by some 200 District staff members, performed an astonishing 16,000 hours of community service through more than 150 projects across our five communities. Our second AUHSD Servathon on January 18, 2016, was even bigger and better and further cemented our District’s commitment to service.
The Servathon helped us develop new partnerships with businesses and community organizations and highlighted our commitment to building an ethos of service, kindness, character, and civic pride. The P21 Corporate Mentoring Program that we established last year has also helped to advance our relationship with corporations and businesses, such as Disney, Bunzl manufacturing, and Kaiser Permanente. We want our students to have meaningful opportunities to reach out and connect with the real world. After all, that is the essence of instruction—making learning relevant to their daily lives. Our students are benefitting from AUHSD becoming an acknowledged leader in the national movement to infuse real world learning into the classroom.
One of the our most important outreach efforts in helping parent leaders understand the depth and complexity of the new state standards and 21st century learning is the Parent Learning Walks being conducted at all sites. Based on direct feedback from parents themselves, I am confident that the “word of mouth” about what’s happening in our classrooms is exceedingly positive.
I also wanted to touch on the fact that there is no doubt that we are growing stronger fiscally, although we are still at 2007-2008 funding levels and continue to climb out of a crisis that forced us to cut more than $100 million worth of services and 500 positions. Through our Local Control Accountability Plan, or LCAP, process, more than 1,000 parents and community members devoted many, many long hours to ensuring that we keep our spending priorities in line.
Finally, I wanted to thank our Board of Trustees for their vision. The main function of the superintendent is to carry out the policies and priorities of the Board. They have guided us and helped us prepare systems of accountability, built on a foundation of integrity and humility, with an eye toward continuous improvement and transparency.
All of the great people in the AUHSD community, most importantly our students and their families, remind me of why we must continue to move AUHSD from good to great.