• Welcome to the Office of the Superintendent

John P. Collins, Ed.D. 

(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075


Tina McDowell
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
(858) 521-2700    FAX (858) 485-1075


Wendy Anderson
Executive Assistant to the Board
(858) 521-2700   FAX (858) 485-1075

Jessica Wakefield
Director of Communications
(858) 521-2707  FAX (858) 485-1075



Superintendent's Message


John CollinsJohn P. Collins, Ed.D.


August 19, 2014


Dear PUSD Families,


The beginning of the school year brings with it excitement, enthusiasm, and a true sense of wonder, as over 35,000 students return to PUSD campuses for another year of learning. As someone who has witnessed this event for the past 25 years, I know that the arrival of our students also brings with it a deep sense of responsibility on the part of District employees to provide the best learning experience possible for every child we serve.


Teachers, instructional aides and administrators have been hard at work throughout the summer, expanding their instructional knowledge and acquiring new skills. Some highlights of their preparations:

  • Training in the new My Connect learning management system
  • Training for teacher-led professional development sessions
  • Training in SEAS (Special Education Automated Software)
  • Attendance at AVID Summer Institutes
  • Attendance at Advanced Placement Summer Institutes
  • Enrollment in PUSD Teaching Learning Cooperative (TLC) courses, including:
    • Engagement and Rigor in the Media Rich Classroom
    • Transforming the Classroom with My Connect
    • Building Math Talk Strategies to Support Common Core
    • Career Technical Education
    • Utilizing Technology in Meeting Common Core Reading Standards
    • Inclusive Classrooms: Special Education Training for General Education Teachers
    • Connecting Core Curriculum and Next Generation Science Standards
    • FIRST Robotics – Maximizing your Resources

Our District and school site staff have also been working throughout the summer to ensure a great opening and a great school year at all of our campuses, including our newest school Design39Campus. Here are just a few of their preparations:

  • Maintained over 3,000,000 square feet of buildings
  • Serviced over 1,295 HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) units
  • Mowed 201 acres of natural grass
  • Installed and configured 3,000 computers
  • Deep cleaned and waxed 120 buses
  • Purchased and delivered 50,400 reams of copy paper
  • Purchased and stored 241,000 tons of food in Food & Nutrition warehouse

The Board of Education and the employees of Poway Unified School District are committed to “making a difference in the lives of our students.” We look forward to working together with our students, families, and community members to ensure a successful school year in 2014-2015.


John P. Collins, Ed.D.



June 6, 2014


Dear PUSD Families,


As the school year is quickly coming to a close, this is a brief reminder of the final steps PUSD is taking in the development and adoption of our Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP).


On May 27th, a draft of the plan was presented to our District Advisory Committee (DAC) and District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC). California Education Code 52062 (a)(1) states: “The superintendent of the school district shall present the local control and accountability plan or annual update to the parent advisory committee established pursuant to Section 52063 for review and comment. The Superintendent of the school district shall respond, in writing, to comments received from the parent advisory committee.

In fulfillment of that requirement, my responses to the comments and suggestions provided by DAC and DELAC have been sent to our Committee members, our Board of Education, and are available for viewing on our website by visiting http://www.powayusd.com/doc_library/2014-15/SUPT'S_WRITTEN_DAC_DELAC_RESPONSE.pdf.  


PUSD’s LCAP (along with our District Budget) will be presented for a public hearing at the special meeting of the Board of Education next Monday, June 9th beginning at 6 p.m. The official LCAP and District Budget for 2014-15 will then be presented for approval at the regularly scheduled board meeting on June 23rd. You can access the LCAP Draft online in English and Spanish by visiting our homepage. Members of the public can also visit our District Office at 15250 Avenue of Science in San Diego if you would like to view the documents in person.

Thank you for your continued participation in this process. I wish each and every one of you a successful and celebratory final week of school.


John P. Collins, Ed.D.



Apr 18, 2014


Dear PUSD Families,

As we announced in our message on Monday, April 14th, Poway Unified School District will hold a Special Board meeting on Monday, April 28th, to review the District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).
This meeting will be divided into matching morning and afternoon sessions. The public can attend for all or part of the day.

Session #1

9:00 - 9:15 - General overview of LCAP work-to-date; explanation of the process we will be using today;

9:30 - 11:30 – Board and public visit “stations” that present information on the 8 LCAP priorities, PUSD LCAP goals, supporting data

11:30 - 12:00 - Public comments to the Board

12:00 - 12:30 - Break for Lunch

Session #2

12:45 - 2:45 - Board and public visit “stations” that present information on the 8 LCAP priorities, PUSD LCAP goals, supporting data

2:45 - 3:45 - Public comments to the Board 

3:45 - 4:00 - Explanation of next steps and closing remarks by Superintendent and Board

Please note: Spanish translation services will be provided throughout the day


This Special Board meeting on April 28th is the first in a series of meetings designed to receive public input on the draft:

  • 5/14/14 - Updated draft presented to District Advisory Committee (DAC) and District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC) for review
  • 5/19/14 - Updated draft presented at monthly Board meeting
  • 6/9/14 - District budget and LCAP presented to Board and Public at Special Board meeting
  • 6/24/14 - LCAP and District budget adopted by Board at monthly Board meeting


If you plan on attending this meeting, please RSVP to jwakefield@powayusd.com.


You are encouraged to read the first draft of PUSD’s LCAP Goals available on our website at http://www.powayusd.com/doc_library/2013-14/LCAP_DRAFT_SectionOne.pdf.


For more information, visit http://lcff.wested.org/lcff-channel/episode-6/ to watch a short video on the LCAP and Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) State Priorities.


As always, thank you for your continued participation in this process.


Dr. John Collins



April 14, 2014


Parents and community members are invited to share their ideas about local educational priorities at the Poway Unified School District’s Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Community Forum: 


Monday, April 28, 2014
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Poway Unified School District Office Community Room
15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego


The LCAP is part of a revolutionary change in the way the State of California allocates funding to local school districts. Under the new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), state funding for schools is designed to be more flexible, allowing for more local control over academic spending priorities.
For the past three months, we have been gathering feedback from a variety of groups in the District, including:

  • District Advisory Committee (DAC),
  • District English Language Advisory Committee (DELAC)
  • Parents
  • Community members
  • Certificated and classified employees
  • Students
  • District Directors
  • K-12 Principals

This LCAP Community Forum is an opportunity for parents, community members and other stakeholders to review the first draft of our LCAP and provide us with feedback as we move forward with this process.

In order to prepare materials and activities, we kindly request an RSVP to the Community Forum to jwakefield@powayusd.com by Thursday, April 24th.

In addition to this forum, community members can also provide input on the Superintendent’s Your Voice page found here - Your Voice.

Additional information about the LCFF and LCAP is available on the California Department of Education Website - Local Control Funding Formula.


I look forward to hearing from each of you.


Dr. John Collins



March 2014 Message


Dear PUSD Parents and Students,


Spring is here, bringing with it continued growth and new beginnings. The PUSD community continues to “grow” its’ important work of ensuring college and career readiness for all of our students. We have also taken on new work as we develop our first-ever Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP).


As I shared with you in a February message, your input is critical to the success of our District’s Mission. In that message, I asked for your input - and you responded, with over 1,900 parents and community members completing the LCFF/LCAP survey posted on the District webpage.


Today, I am pleased to announce a new section of our website called “Your Voice”. Through the “Your Voice” portal you can bring an idea, suggestion or concern directly to my attention. Simply visit our public website at http://www.powayusd.com/depts/super/YourVoice.shtml to fill out the “My Voice Matters” form. I want to hear about your priorities – and understand the reasons why specific issues and topics matter to you. Through “Your Voice”, we are taking transparency and collaborative decision-making to a new level.


Please understand that while I may not be able to personally respond to everyone who writes to me here, I can promise that every submission will be read, reviewed and taken into account. This channel is open 24/7, 365 days a year, so you can communicate with me at any time.


Please make sure your email address is in our records so we can contact you, if needed. You may submit your email address through the “Notify Me” link on the top right-hand side of the “Your Voice” page. Your email will be added to our distribution list for future PUSD community-wide communications.


We appreciate your support of public education and your support for the Poway Unified School District. Together we can and will see our students achieve great things, here in PUSD and in their future lives.


Dr. John Collins



February 2014


Dear PUSD Families,


Ensuring the safety of our students and staff members is a responsibility that the Poway Unified Board of Education and District staff take very seriously.


For well-over a year, PUSD has been planning and implementing a series of measures designed to better protect our students and staff. In this month’s message to our community, I would like to update you on the steps we have taken and discuss ways you and your students can help keep our campuses safe places to learn and work.


As a result of our collaboration with local law enforcement, and our internal review of security and safety needs, the Board of Education approved funding for the following safety upgrades:

  • Perimeter fencing and gate improvements
  • Lock installation and retrofitting to ensure doors can be locked from inside the classroom
  • Panic hardware and door improvements
  • Window treatments and blind installation and upgrading for classrooms
  • Door chime installation and upgrading


The Board of Education also listened carefully to input from Principals, teachers and staff throughout the District, and approved funding for the following recommendations:

  • Install new visitor check-in systems that monitor visitors to a school site and assist students and staff in identifying visitors and their designated location.
  • Hold a “reality training” exercise.  This training took place last Spring on the Abraxas campus, with District and school personnel working with law enforcement in a “live shooter” drill.
  • Approve an additional contracted three-hour Office Assistant II for each elementary site, to ensure school offices are staffed throughout the day.
  • Provide each elementary school with a:
    • Credentialed Counselor one full day per week
    • Student Services Assistant for fifteen hours per week
    • Coordinated, research-based social/emotional curriculum and support for all TK-5 students


By focusing on the physical safety of our sites and the mental and emotional health of our students, we hope to keep our schools positive, encouraging communities where each student has the support needed to learn and grow.


It is important we work together as a community to raise and protect our students; therefore your input and cooperation are critical. It is vital that anyone with information suggesting a compromise to safety reports it as soon as possible.


We will continue to keep our campuses locked except at one main entrance; to ask all visitors to check in at the office when they arrive at a school; to remind everyone to be vigilant and report anything “out of the ordinary” that they witness or hear about at a school site or in a school facility.


Issues of school security are constantly evolving and we will continue to do all that is possible to make sure that our schools are safe. Nothing is more important than the safety of the young people who come to us each day and the safety of the staff in whose care they are entrusted.


Dr. John Collins



January 22, 2014


Dear PUSD Parents and Students,

With the adoption of the California Common Core State Standards in August, 2010, teachers in California began important, new work around teaching and learning. Under the leadership and guidance of our Teaching and Learning Committee, PUSD teachers are redesigning existing lessons, creating new ones and focusing on the critical thinking skills our students need to be successful 21 st century learners.


An equally important change is taking place in the way California funds its K-12 schools. The State’s 2013-14 Budget Act included landmark legislation that greatly simplifies the state’s school finance system. The change to the budget system - known as the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) - represents a major shift in how California funds school districts.


For nearly 40 years, California has relied on a system that included general purpose funding based on attendance (known as Revenue Limits) and more than 50 tightly-defined and controlled categorical programs to provide funding to school districts.


Under LCFF, each school district will now receive a base grant depending on grade level. This base grant will then be supplemented according to the number of Free and Reduced Lunch, English Learner, and foster students the District serves.


According to State Board of Education President, Michael Kirst, “The goal of the Local Control Funding Formula is to decentralize power and shift decision making to local districts.” In order to accomplish this decentralization, LCFF legislation requires each school district to create a Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP). The State has set three “priorities” that every district’s LCAP must address. They are:

  • Conditions of Learning
  • Pupil Outcomes
  • Engagement


At their January 15-16 meeting in Sacramento, the State Board of Education approved a final version of the template Districts must use in writing their LCAP. PUSD can now begin the important work of designing our local accountability plan.


PUSD is ready to implement this budget change and has identified a District LCAP Steering Committee. We have several community, parent and site committees already in place to help us with the LCAP design and drafting process. These include: District Advisory Committee (DAC); District English Learner Advisory Committee (DELAC); School Site Councils; Palomar Council PTA; and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Committee. And we will be “putting out the call” in the coming months to parents, students and community members who are interested in joining us in this work.


If you would like to learn more about the Local Control Funding Formula, I encourage you to read the attached, “School Funding Undergoes Major Reform: An Essential EdSource Guide” which includes an excellent Question/Answer overview of the new law - http://edsource.org/today/wp-content/uploads/10-questions.pdf?q=10-questions.html .


Wishing you a great 2014,
Dr. John Collins



December 2013

Dear PUSD Parents and Students,


As this calendar year comes to a close, I would like to begin by congratulating students, staff members and families for successfully completing nearly half of the school year and extend best wishes for a safe and peaceful winter holiday break.


2014 brings significant changes in education in California, including the ongoing implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and assessments.


My previous messages regarding the CCSS have introduced you to the concepts, language and “instructional shifts” required by CCSS. This month, I want to focus on PUSD’s technology readiness and the changes students, staff and parents can expect to see in early Spring, 2014 when students engage in computerized Common Core testing.


The Common Core assessments require a level of readiness and preparation that is very different from the California Standards paper-and-pencil tests of previous years. These “next-generation” assessments will measure our students’ content knowledge and critical thinking skills within a computer-based testing environment.


The 2014 SBAC assessments will be a pilot and no scores will be reported. 2015 is still scheduled as the first year of full implementation and reporting of scores. These results will provide base data for all districts to work from as we continue the process of reviewing results and aligning instructional practices for continuous improvement.


We are all working together to prepare for this transition. For many years now PUSD has focused time, resources and professional development on ensuring that teachers provide students with the best possible 21st century learning environment. The majority of our students have several years’ experience taking computer-adaptive MAPS tests in English and Mathematics. They have also experienced instruction, assignments and assessments that have required them to read, research, and produce electronic documents.


Successful change takes time and resources and Poway Unified is carefully allocating both to transition our teaching and learning community to the CCSS and SBAC testing. As I mentioned in my November message, PUSD and the Poway Federation of Teachers have formed the PUSD Teaching and Learning Steering Committee. The Committee has met several times over the past month, designing a district-wide “roadmap” for Common Core implementation. As we head into 2014, I look forward to sharing details of the Committee’s work with you.


We have been engaging teachers in committees District-wide to lead and guide this work.


Thank you for your continued, active participation in your student’s education. I wish each of you a healthy and happy holiday season and a wonderful new year.


Dr. John Collins



November 2013


Dear Parents, Students and Community Members,

As most of us know from our life and work experiences, the change process is not always easy. This is especially true for an organization responsible for educating students and preparing them for college and career while the change is taking place. “Like changing tires on a moving car,” is how one observer describes the process. “You have to watch the destination while also keeping in mind the car and the people in it; and it’s not just one tire, it’s several.”

With the Board’s approval of our District’s revised Mission Statement - College and Career Readiness for All Students - PUSD began a Common Core implementation process that impacts our curriculum, teaching practices, instructional materials and assessments. It is a process that will ultimately transform student learning. CCSS are standards in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics designed to prepare students for the rigor and performance expectations of college and the workplace. CCSS support PUSD’s Mission of College and Career Readiness.

To assist in this important work, PUSD and the Poway Federation of Teachers have formed the PUSD Teaching and Learning Steering Committee. This team of instructional leaders, which includes both administrators and classroom teachers, is currently engaged in a process that will lay out how Common Core will be implemented in Poway Unified over the next few years. The Committee is aligning its work with our three District-wide Goals:

  • Ensure each student engages in a challenging 21st Century learning experience.
  • Develop and maintain communications systems that create collective engagement among all stakeholders.
  • Create a collaborative culture of continuous learning for all staff.


Implementation of the California Common Core State Standards should not and will not happen overnight. But I can assure you that the members of the Teaching and Learning Steering Committee possess the knowledge, skills and shared commitment that will ensure its success.

I encourage you to visit our District webpage, our Facebook page, and Twitter account for ongoing updates on the “transformational” work of the Teaching and Learning Steering Committee. Please also check out the variety of materials available for the community on our transition to the Common Core. The newest resource, a top ten things to know about Common Core for our parents, is also attached to this message.
In this month of thanks, I thank each of you for your active participation in our District and community and wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Dr. John Collins, Superintendent




October, 2013


It is the intent of the Legislature that the state’s system of public accountability be more closely aligned with both the public’s expectations for public education and the workforce needs of the state’s economy. – Assembly Bill 484


Dear PUSD Parents and Students,


Our Governor has recently signed Assembly Bill 484, the State Superintendent’s sponsored legislation to make the state’s student assessment system reflect the California Common Core State Standards (CCCSS). As we have discussed in previous communications, the CCCSS are an integral part of education for the 21st century, preparing each student for college and career readiness upon graduation.


The new law, AB 484, suspends most Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) assessments for the current school year, allowing school districts to prepare for and transition to the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessments, which are slated for administration statewide in the 2014-15 school year.


For the current school year, AB 484 requires districts to administer field tests of the Smarter Balanced assessments. Field tests serve as “tests of the tests” allowing experts to discern the accuracy and reliability of individual test questions before finalizing the assessments for full-scale use. As such, no student test scores will be produced or reported for this year.


PUSD piloted these SBAC field tests at several schools last spring and has already initiated detailed planning for implementation of the SBAC field test, across the District, this spring.

While we will continue to communicate these processes and plans throughout the school year, please see below for some answers to frequently asked questions. As the transition progresses within our District and across the State, more detailed information will be available through these messages on our website and through exciting new social media platforms. In the months ahead we will also be conducting community education forums to inform and update our community about the CCCSS and SBAC.


PUSD continues its transition to our new state standards with the implementation of SBAC assessments, part of our excellent tradition of preparing our students to be active, productive lifelong learners in the 21st century.



Q: Will any students be taking the STAR exam this year?
A: Yes, students in grades 5, 8 and 10 will take the existing science tests for their grade levels. Students in grade 10 will take the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) and students in Grade 11 will take Early Assessment Program (EAP) in English and Math. Students with special needs in grades 3 – 11 who are currently being tested using the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) will take the CAPA test again in Spring, 2014.

Q: Will all students be taking the new SBAC assessments?
A: The District is working to have all students in grades 3 – 8 and 11 take the SBAC field test – in either English Language Arts/Literacy or Math.

Q: Will I receive any scores from the new SBAC assessments my student takes this spring?
A: No, these field tests are meant for validation purposes only – to determine if the test is accurately measuring what it is designed to measure.

Q: How does the SBAC assessment differ from the previous STAR tests?
A: The new assessments are expected to emphasize critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving - the teaching and learning needed to prepare all students for the demands of college and the modern workplace.

SBAC assessments are also a growth measure, which differs from the static nature of the previous STAR assessments. From 2014-15 on, parents will be able to compare student scores from year to year to measure their student’s growth as well as overall proficiency.

Q: If I will not be receiving state test scores this year, how will I determine my student’s progress?
A: Our District has established a number of rigorous site-based measures and benchmarks for our students including course or grade-level finals, formative classroom assessments, trimester writing, and progress and final grades. We will also continue administering the existing MAP test at our elementary and middle schools.

Q: How can I help my student prepare for the new SBAC assessments?
A: The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium provides a comprehensive website (http://www.smarterbalanced.org/smarter-balanced-assessments/) with answers to frequently asked questions, fact sheets and links to test blueprints.

Due to the computer-based nature of the tests, students will receive technology training at school. Reinforcing that training at home will also benefit students.

Q: How will these changes impact testing for special education students?
A: Special Education students who are tested using the California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA) will not take part in the 2013-14 SBAC field testing.

Q: Will the District technology infrastructure support the new testing system?
A: Yes. For several years, our District has been expanding our bandwidth and replacing older computers to meet current instructional needs. These changes will also support the new testing system.


September, 2013


"Education is preparation for the real world.  From the moment a student joins our District, no matter what their age or grade-level, we begin the work of preparing that child for College and Career Readiness upon graduation. This is why the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are so important, and why we must remain committed to implementing them.  It is important to remember that these are standards - a set of expectations for what students need to know and be able to do. The CCSS is not a curriculum, and, despite claims to the contrary, leave decisions about how students are taught where they belong, in the hands of local districts and teachers."


John Collins, Superintendent
Address to the Board of Education, 9/16/13


Dear PUSD Parents and Students,

On Monday night, September 16, the Board of Education reaffirmed the District’s Mission of College and Career Readiness for All Students and adopted three District Goals:

  • Ensure each student engages in a challenging 21st Century learning experience.
  • Develop and maintain communications systems that create collective engagement among all stakeholders.
  • Create a collaborative culture of continuous learning for all staff.


At this meeting, the Board of Education also voiced their support for implementing the California Common Core State Standards in PUSD classrooms.  Several teachers addressed the Board, describing CCSS as a critical part of ensuring our students’ readiness for college and careers.


I also addressed the Board on Monday night.   A complete copy of my remarks can be found here.


August 2013

Dear PUSD Parents and Students,

As I have done every year since joining the District Office staff in 1996, I spent the first day of the new school year visiting sites across the district. Watching buses roll up to school entrances, seeing middle and high school students reconnecting with friends and teachers after a long summer break, hearing the excited voices of our Kindergartners, I could not help but feel a special sense of pride for the effort and energy it takes from all of us to get the new school year successfully underway.

I believe this sense of pride is a well-earned PUSD tradition. We are a community who has, for decades, dedicated our time and talents to ensure a world-class educational experience for our children. This tradition of excellence continues as we begin the 2013-14 school year.

Everywhere I visited today, I saw caring administrators, teachers and staff working hard to make sure students felt welcomed and supported. I also saw scores of parent volunteers working equally hard to make sure that teachers and staff felt the same sense of welcome and support.

This is always an exciting day for me. One that fills me with pride, but also reminds me of the commitment we have made to provide every student with an educational experience that engages, excites and encourages them, and prepares them to be 21st century learners and leaders.

Yes, honoring this commitment takes energy and effort. But I can think of no community of educators and parents better equipped to fulfill the PUSD mission of College and Career Readiness for All.

The great thinker and philosopher, Aristotle, observed "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

I look forward to working with each of you to ensure another year of excellence for the students of the Poway Unified School District.


John Collins



May 2013

RE: PUSD and Common Core State Standards


According to many recent national studies on the future workforce needs in the United States, the literacy skills, critical thinking skills, and the attitudes and behaviors for success in college or postsecondary training look very similar to the skills needed for success in the workplace.
~ Poway Unified School District Strategic Vision: 2008-2014

“Common education standards are essential for producing the educated work force America needs to remain globally competitive. This voluntary state-led effort will help ensure that all students can receive the college- and career-ready, world-class education they deserve, no matter where they live. I applaud the states’ efforts that got us here today and the work of NGA, CCSSO and Achieve in supporting this important achievement.”
~ Craig Barrett, Former CEO and Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation, 2010

There has been a lot of coverage recently in local and national news about the adoption of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Work on the CCSS began in 2009, at the request of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and the National Governors Association (NGA). These two groups tasked education stakeholders to review the various standards already adopted in individual states, build on the best of these standards, and maintain a focus on the skills and knowledge students need to be career- and college-ready.

California “put its stamp” on the Common Core from the very beginning. California was among those states whose existing standards were used extensively in the writing of the Common Core, and California educators played a critical role in reviewing the drafted standards and finalizing them.

The Common Core standards have now been adopted by 45 states, four territories and the Department of Defense Schools. Each state or territory was allowed to add 15% of its existing standards to the Common Core. California added state-specific standards in both English Language Arts & Literacy and Mathematics. These revised standards – now known as California’s Common Core State Standards – were adopted by the California Legislature in August, 2010.
The new California State Standards identify the knowledge, concepts, and skills students should acquire by high school graduation. These standards are broken down by grade level, and subject area. The development of specific courses, curriculum, and instructional materials continues to be the responsibility of each local school district.
The career and college readiness skills that the California standards emphasize have been at the center of Poway Unified’s Mission and Vision for more than a decade. The state standards will continue to focus our work on critical thinking as our students read, write, and reason mathematically across all content areas. PUSD’s 2002-2008 Strategic Plan targeted College and Career Readiness for all students. Expanding on this work, PUSD’s 2008-2014 Strategic Vision includes Rigor (high expectations for all); Relevance (student engagement in learning) and Relationships (personalization of the learning experience for all) as hallmarks of our District’s mission.

In 2012-13, PUSD teachers and administrators once again expanded their focus on career and college readiness, using the new California Common Core standards as one element in lesson and assessment design. As part of this transition, administrators and teachers across the District are participating in a range of Professional Learning activities this year. Below are some highlights:

  • K-5 teachers have collaborated on the development of lessons, prompts and exemplars for trimester writing that reflect the Common Core’s emphasis on opinion, informative/explanatory and narrative writing.
  • 6-12 English Language Arts, Social Science, Science and Technical Subject teachers have received training on the instructional “shifts” in the Common Core that will require students to read and comprehend literary and informational texts while mastering subject specific academic language, and articulate arguments and claims through writing and speaking with evidence taken directly from reputable resources.
  • 6-12 Math teachers have reviewed information and research on the California CC Standards for Mathematical Practices that will require students to master mathematical processes, explain how they solved problems, and apply mathematics to solve problems arising in everyday life.

I believe it is the artistry and passion of the classroom teacher that determines the quality of a student’s educational experience. Please be assured that the transition of our state standards is consistent with the academic excellence we celebrate!

On Wednesday, May 22, 2013, the Poway Unified School District Board of Education will hold a special workshop on the new California Standards. The workshop will be held at the Poway Unified School District Office, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, in the Community Room. The Public is welcome to attend.

John Collins, Superintendent






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