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January 2019

Greeting Families and Community Members,

 
At the heart of our District's mission and vision is to provide every student with the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong learning. Our educational programs are designed and delivered to ensure that students have access to higher education and/or successful careers and jobs in our community and society. This process begins when our students enter kindergarten and progress all the way through high school graduation. Our teachers and staff work diligently to support every student and deliver a rigorous and engaging instructional program. We are always seeking ways to improve our programs in the John Swett Unified School District and to keep pace with what is new in education. Currently, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Career Technical Education are active areas of change and reform throughout the State of California. 
 
We have recently formed a committee of teachers and administrators to begin researching our instructional needs in the area of science and how we can better implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in our District. Our committee will be looking at the level of rigor required in the new science standards, assessing our current program, identifying new materials for adoption and implementation, and identifying the professional development needs of our teachers. We will also be reaching out to families and the community to get your input on our science programs and how we can best integrate this into our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), the guiding document for our District's instructional improvement efforts. Our NGSS Planning Committee includes Barbara Walker, Colleen Perez, Alicia Heimer, Eden Kennedy-Hoffmann, Cathy Patterson, and Iris Wesselmann.
 
Knowing that we have a duty to prepare our students for success in the community, our District also has a very active Career Academy that includes pathways related to manufacturing and product development, information and communication technologies, and digital media. Our Career Academy has courses in manufacturing, machine tool technology, computer aided design (CAD), welding, computer science, multimedia, and publications. These classes are organized into pathways that are part of the Career Technical Education (CTE) program design for the State of California. This helps prepare students to attain entry-level employment skills in business or industry upon graduation from high school. We have exceptional teachers in our Career Academy including Tony Tammer, Kevin McNeal, Melissa Healy, Patrick Bender, Ken Leslie, and James Machado. Also, members of our community serve on our Career Academy Executive Committee and this includes Jeff Wallace, Aimee Henry, Tony Tammer, Dan Hanel, Norma Clerici, Dick Zampa, Harold Burnett, and Marina Ramos (taking over for Shane Reinhardt). Much of this work is supported by our industry partners at Phillips 66. Our Career Academy shops, computer classes, and classrooms are exciting and buzzing with activity. We invite members of the community to see the wonderful things happening there and to visit our website at jsusd.org to learn more.
 
Throughout the coming months and years, we will be working to identify other areas where we can make instructional improvements to our academic, enrichment, and vocational programs. Your thoughts and viewpoints about our schools and programs is important. We want to hear from you. I am available by cell phone at (925) 639-7408 or by email at cmiller@jsusd.org. If you ever have a problem or concern, please feel free to reach out to me personally and I will help get things resolved.