Dear Conejo Valley Unified School District Community:
With the expiration of my Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) rookie card on June 30, 2016, I’d like to thank staff, students, parents, the Board of Education, and the community for a tremendous 2015-2016 school year. We celebrated dozens of award-winning achievements, strengthened home-to-school connections, and partnered with supportive businesses. Most important, we enjoyed broad participation in open forums, focus groups, and interviews conducted as part of my entry plan dubbed Greenprint for Learning.
What we learned from our community this past school year was compelling. Beyond our many accomplishments are pressing interests. The social and emotional needs of our students emerged as a high priority. Many additional conversations focused on how CVUSD can open doors for students rather than perpetuate certain time-honored gatekeeping practices. We also heard parents’ desires for innovative choices that would meet the needs of their children. Finally, economic trends have generated concerns about expanding and sustaining funding for quality co-curricular activities that engage students.
These learnings provided direction for initiatives that were approved in June by our Board of Education in a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). It is quite comprehensive and matches dollars to goals. We are proud of our plans for students and staff. To be truthful, though, the final written product intended for state-level submission is an unwieldy compliance document that fails miserably in being a community-friendly resource. Therefore, CVUSD has captured key highlights from LCAP in our local GreenPrint for Success. It is our guide, a GPS that positions CVUSD as choice destination for education.
The first destination points us to individual school sites that enhance the culture and conditions that optimize learning for all students. Among the initiatives funded here are the following: instructional technology, a new Independent Home Study program for elementary students, an expansion of Century Academy’s online hybrid learning for 8th grade students, and plans to explore interests in a dual language immersion or similar global studies school. These innovations honor choices our students and parents desire.
The second destination brings us into individual classrooms where we maximize all students’ achievement through highly effective instruction that includes opportunities for academic acceleration and intervention. Funding for an additional 2.4 counselors, a mental health specialist, and psychologist interns will support students so they can access learning. We will also breathe new life into our Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs and support mathematics boost camps for students whose skills develop at different rates. Quite simply, we will be exceptional, without exception, for all students.
The third destination is an exciting one that develops high quality activities that engage all students with their schools. Being mindful of Title IX legislation that in part requires equitable opportunities for female student athletes, we are pleased to introduce field hockey, sand volleyball, and stunt cheerleading. The district office has also budgeted seed money to assist schools with new activities or existing ones that are struggling financially. Finally, we have a number of community outreach initiatives planned to connect with and respond to our community.
Our GPS will extend the CVUSD journey to new horizons. Like any trip, we’ll have to plan carefully and stay within our budget. We also will demonstrate flexibility that permits us to reroute in the face of any obstacles. Ultimately, many trails can lead to a choice destination, so we will use a combination of proven highways, less traveled byways, and newly forged paths. I encourage you to see the course our GreenPrint for Success has charted, by clicking here.
As we look forward to opening our doors to over 19,000 children this school year, I extend my deepest appreciation and admiration to the CVUSD community. Our students and community prosper because of the outstanding academic and co-curricular opportunities CVUSD offers. We believe there is a right fit for every family, and we believe each child has unique gifts to discover. Our schools are positive, safe, and inviting learning environments where we support students academically, physically, socially, and emotionally. We are proud CVUSD is recognized as a choice destination for education.
Ann N. Bonitatibus
I love showcasing all things CVUSD, follow me on Twitter @CVUSDAnnB