Dear Parents,

Welcome back for the 2020-021 school year!  I hope everyone has had a wonderful summer and spent time enjoying family and friends.  I had a great summer; my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to Alaska and visit our son.  I also had the opportunity to delve into growing as a leader by attending a Math Leadership Institute offered by the County Department of Education. I look forward to sharing my learnings and how I will continue to grow as your Principal.  

The 2020-2021 school year is an opportunity for Highland Ranch to move forward in our journey in providing the highest quality education for our students, families, and community.  We will continue our positive school culture with Character Counts and Bucket Filling.  We also look forward to grades three through five adopting a new language arts curriculum, Benchmark.   Our primary grades were introduced to this standards based curriculum last year, which integrates Science and Social Studies with Language Arts.   As we strive for consistency across the Poway Unified School District, all elementary schools will be fully implementing this program in grades K through five. 

This year, we are pleased to announce a new staff member, Mr. Matt Sterling will be joining us as a Teacher on Special Assignment or TOSA.  Five TOSAs were hired in Poway Unified this year to assist large elementary schools that are not large enough to have an Assistant Principal.  With this additional administrative support, I will be able to focus on teaching and learning here at the Ranch.  My hope is to highlight the exemplary teaching talent and practices that exist in our building.  I would like to focus on serving and supporting teachers in teaching, learning, and professional growth.  As a staff, we will be focusing on continued development in the areas of curricular planning, instruction, and assessment of student learning. 

I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, August 21, at our Transitional Kindergarten/Kindergarten Back to School Night and Popsicle Posting Party where students will learn who their teachers will be for the upcoming school year.   The Popsicle Posting Party (sponsored by our PTA) is from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., and will include new family tours.  The TK/Kindergarten Back to School Night is from 5:15 – 6:00 p.m.  Please bring your TK/Kindergarten children with you to this special evening, as they will meet their teacher from 5:15 to 5:30.  Then, they will join Mrs. Venolia and helpers in the Multipurpose Room while parents meet with the classroom teachers from 5:30 to 6:00. 
Parents of students in grades first through fifth will have a Back to School Night on Thursday, August 23rd.   Third through fifth grade will be from 5:00 to 5:45.  There will be a Parent Meeting in the MPR from 5:45 to 6:15, and first and second grade Back to School presentations will be from 6:15 to 7:00.   All parents, including Kindergarten parents are encouraged to attend the 5:45 to 6:15 school wide presentation.  This is a special night for parents and teachers, please arrange child care.
The big day is August 22nd!  School begins at 7:45.  Parents are invited to attend our PTA’s Boo-Hoo/Yahoo Breakfast in the multipurpose room from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m.   Come catch up with old friends, or meet new friends, and celebrate the start of the new year.  Don’t forget, the parking lot is for staff only.  As we have many itinerant staff members, even if you see an empty spot, it will be filled throughout the day by a staff member!  Kindergarten and TK dismiss at 11:45, and all other grades dismiss at 1:45.
That is all for now!  See the attached documents for our new family tour information and student handbook.
All my best,
Cindy Venolia
Principal, Highland Ranch


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The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is an equal opportunity employer/program and is committed to an active Nondiscrimination Program. PUSD prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying based on actual or perceived race, color, ancestry, national origin, nationality, immigration status, ethnicity, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental ability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression or association with a person or a group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. For more information, please contact: Title IX/Equity Compliance Officer, James Jimenez, Associate Superintendent of Personnel Support Services, Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128, 858-521-2800, extension 2761,

Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406