AUGUST 2018 Edition
Dear Team PUSD,
I am thrilled to be welcoming you all back for the 2018-19 school year. I hope you and your families had a wonderful summer.
I have been reflecting on how we as educators and a community can continue to achieve our mission of college and career readiness for all Poway Unified students. In my work this year with the District’s leadership team, school site administrators, staff, and teachers, we are focusing on creating conditions and culture to support world class learners.
I challenge you to start thinking about what that means in your own sphere of influence. As a parent, what can I do at home to best support my child’s learning? As a teacher, what are the conditions in the classroom that better support my students’ success? As a staff member, how can I create a culture on the playground, on the bus, in the cafeteria, in the office, where students feel welcomed, safe, and secure enough to learn and thrive? For each member of Team PUSD, how we implement conditions and culture may differ, but by working together toward a common goal, we can elevate our students’ educational experience, identify their strengths and passion, inspire and challenge them, and enable them to reach for greatness.
Let us start with a shared belief system that all students have the potential to succeed and WANT to succeed. But whether that success is realized may depend largely on the adults around them. That is why we are working so hard to build trust and communication with our stakeholders, raise our expectations of ourselves and our students, approach our work with a continuous improvement mindset, and be open to change as we collaborate and innovate to move our District forward.
In our short time together, I am proud to see the many positive changes and expanded programs being implemented throughout our schools and the District. We are launching a new Mandarin Immersion program, expanding the elementary Xploration program, adding innovation labs, adding CTE courses, and piloting our Voyager blended learning program. We have reduced the District’s debt liability and implemented processes, procedures, and policies to increase accountability. We have put into place additional safety measures, including security cameras and a districtwide facility assessment. We are engaging more stakeholders through our District committees such as technology, safety, and budget. But there is much more work to be done, and ultimately, we must always remember to keep our students at the forefront of all that we do.
We need to help all of our students reach for greatness through personalizable education. Our students are unique individuals, who are diverse and very talented. I want to close with a link to our fantastic Welcome Back music video that was created by our very own high school students. If you haven't already seen it, please take the time to watch it now:
PUSD is a place where we believe every student can succeed, a place where our kids can thrive and learn to be their best selves, a place where diversity is valued and dreams are achieved. This is us. Team PUSD!
Welcome back and have a wonderful school year!
Marian Kim-Phelps, Ed.D.
Poway Unified School District