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2016-2017 Highlights from Superintendent Matsuda

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Date: May 24, 2017

To: Members of AUHSD Community

From: Mike Matsuda, Superintendent

Subject: Highlights for 2016-2017


As we get set to graduate nearly 5,000 members of the Class of 2017, I would like to take a moment to reflect upon our District’s collective accomplishments during the 2016-2017 school year.

Last month, five AUHSD campuses joined the eight campuses already honored as California Gold Ribbon Schools. Honorees are Anaheim, Cypress, Kennedy, Savanna, Loara, and Western high schools, Oxford Academy (7-12), and Brookhurst, Dale, Lexington, South, Sycamore, and Walker junior high schools. With 13 of 18 schools earning the state Gold Ribbon, AUHSD now leads the county in total junior and senior high awards.

Additionally, 15 AUHSD campuses earned statewide accolades for their Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs, which aim to improve student behavior and make school safer. PBIS honors went to Ball, Brookhurst, Dale, Lexington, and Walker junior highs schools, Oxford Academy, plus Anaheim, Cypress, ​Katella, Kennedy, Loara, Magnolia, Savanna, Western, and Gilbert high schools. Gilbert also earned “Model Continuation High School” status from the state of California.

AUHSD led the way again with the first two campuses in the county—Loara and Savanna high schools—to be designated as California Democracy Schools. Continuing that theme, Lexington, Dale, and South junior high schools were 2017 Civic Learning Award of Merit winners. Thanks to our amazing civic education teachers, the District is developing thousands of engaged students who will shortly become active and aware citizens who know how to be civically engaged.

While the rigorous International Baccalaureate Program continues to be a marquee program and draw students to Kennedy High School, we are in the process of establishing a marquee program at Magnolia High School. Beginning in the fall, following intensive summer training for 40 teachers from five schools, Magnolia will become the home of Southern California’s first, high school Cybersecurity Pathway, in partnership with Cypress College and UCI.

Additionally, although only in its second year, our AIME program (Anaheim’s Innovative Mentoring Experience) has provided approximately 2,000 students with the most comprehensive corporate mentoring and summer internship opportunities in Orange County.

AIME is poised for growth next year with the establishment of the Anaheim Union Educational Pledge, a collaborative, comprehensive partnership with higher education institutions and the city of Anaheim designed to ensure that AUHSD students have the support they need for college, career, and life readiness and success.

Pledge partners include Fullerton and Cypress colleges, California State University, Fullerton, the University of California at Irvine, and the city of Anaheim. The community colleges will provide academic and counseling support for students while still in the AUHSD, and after they enroll in either college. The community colleges will also be offering increased dual enrollment courses that allow for more college credit upon high school graduation.

And, once students graduate from either Fullerton or Cypress colleges and are minimally UC qualified, the Pledge guarantees them admission to UCI.

Cal State Fullerton agrees to offer additional academic counseling support to students while enrolled in AUHSD, plus mentoring for first-year, undeclared CSUF majors from AUHSD.

The city of Anaheim is promising to offer mentorships, as well as resources for summer internship scholarships, for high school juniors through AIME.

After studying other “pledges,” or “promises,” in Southern California, I believe the Anaheim Union Educational Pledge ​​surpasses their efforts and takes student support to a higher level. No other district can match the Pledge. Look for an official “signing” ceremony with the UCI chancellor, the president of CSUF, the chancellor of NOCCCD, the presidents of Fullerton and Cypress Colleges, the mayor of Anaheim and myself this coming September.

Finally, as the needs of our students continue to rise, we are developing a comprehensive mental health program to support our students, staff, and families. In these difficult times, we know that life is increasingly complex. But I assure you ​that we are in this together as a family.

You can see why AUHSD is such a fantastic place to be a student, staff, or community member.

I hope you will take time to enjoy your summer and make some lasting memories with family and friends. You can stay connected to us by visiting

​​On behalf of the Board of Trustees, thank you again for your commitment to supporting the AUHSD.

It is my honor to serve as your superintendent.