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September 2018

Greeting Families and Community Members,

By the time you are reading this, the 2018-19 school year has started. Students, teachers, and staff are back at school. They are excited and enthusiastic to be returning! Over the summer, we worked towards our primary goal - to ensure that our schools are inclusive, positive, and safe places for our students to learn and grow. We have devoted many hours of summer training and learning to ensure that the climate and culture within our schools is positive and encouraging so students can successfully access a rigorous academic program. 
Immediately prior to the start of school, teachers and staff participated in workshops and training programs to help us better meet the needs of our students. The entire Carquinez Middle School Staff (teachers, custodians, librarians, para-professionals, cafeteria workers, etc.) participated in a full day retreat to improve conditions for teaching and learning within the school. What was impressive about this retreat was that almost every staff member attended! They learned about Trauma Informed Instruction, Responses to Student Misconduct, and positive reinforcement for students. Everybody was there and the commitment of the CMS staff is impressive.
The teachers and staff at Rodeo Hills have also been busy. This energized team of teachers, staff, and administrators have been learning about the Leader In Me program that is being implemented at their school site. The Leader in Me is FranklinCovey’s whole school transformation process. It teaches 21st century leadership and life skills to students and creates a culture of student empowerment based on the idea that every child can be a leader. As was the case with CMS, almost the entire staff turned out for the training.
Our high schools are stepping up their game as well. Over the last few months, our Career Academy at John Swett High School overhauled their courses to ensure that we are in alignment with the State of California's guidelines for Career Technical Education. Our teachers and counselors have been busy revising on our Career Pathways so our students emerge from our program ready for college and career. In many cases, our Career Academy graduates are entering into high paying jobs immediately out of High School. We would like to acknowledge our community partners such as Phillips 66 and our community volunteers for their support of our programs. Our High School staff (at both John Swett and Willow) are already delivering of rigorous and challenging instruction.

Your thoughts and viewpoints about our schools is important. We want to hear from you. I am available by cell phone at (925) 639-7408 or by email at If you ever have a problem or concern, please feel free to reach out to me personally and I will help get things resolved. 
Charles Miller, Ed. D.
John Swett Unified School District
Office: 510-245-4300 x2105
Cell: 925-639-7408