June 16, 2011
It is that time of year that I reflect on the school year just past. I believe that 2010-2011 was another very successful school year for Sunnyvale School District. Despite the troubling issues of inadequate and uncertain funding provided by the State of California, we have stayed the course defined in our mission: "preparing our students with a strong foundation of skills and knowledge to succeed in their educational pursuits." At the forefront of priorities is serving students well. We have once again achieved that objective this past school year.
We also passed Measure B our school district's modest parcel tax. Serving a community that values public education is a blessing. The citizens of Sunnyvale really stepped up by showing strong support for our school district at the ballot box with a nearly 70% yes vote. Thank you Sunnyvale for supporting your neighborhood schools! This local measure will help buffer us from the continuing reduced level of state funding for public education.
Of course we accomplished so much more than just the passage of Measure B. What have we accomplished? We have:
· Continued our progress of deeply implementing the framework of the Seven Correlates of Effective Schools, a researched based means of improving our schools, by incorporating Professional Learning Communities, Response to Intervention, and Positive Behavior Intervention Support into the way we do business in all of our schools.
· Provided a new elementary English Language Arts curriculum this year and will be doing the same for our two middle schools next year.
· Expanded our use of instructional technology and interventions to support student learning.
· Launched the Fairwood Explorer Program, which has thrived and will be expanding next year.
· Deepened our parent and community engagement and partnerships this past year and this will continue to be an ongoing focus.
· Continued offering a comprehensive summer school again this year in partnership with Stanford University. This intervention program will serve over 800 students during the summer 2011.
Continued to make substantial progress on modernizing and expanding our schools again thanks to our supportive community and the passage of Measure P in 2004. I believe all of this good work will directly translate to greater student learning and higher achievement. It is for all of these reasons that I believe 2010-2011 has been a very successful year. I hope you agree.
So what will next year bring? I am sure that public education will continue to struggle financially as the state budget crisis has not been resolved and California's economic recovery is at best in low gear…moving very slowly. But with the resources we do have I am committed to focus those resources for the benefit of every child. After all, the children we serve only go through our system one time and we must do our best for them.
Thank you for your continued support of Sunnyvale School District and my best wishes to all of you for a safe and restful summer.
Benjamin H. Picard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools