The pride I feel in all of our students and staff cannot be contained! We have much to celebrate as we look forward to the coming school year in preparing Today’s Learners to be Tomorrow’s Leaders! We’re excited and looking forward to the 2022-23 school year, continuing to focus on helping our students to achieve their potential while recovering from the most difficult two and a half years education has ever experienced. We have much to celebrate with our return and can’t wait to get started!
In preparing our students academically, we will refine our focus on the implementation of our English Language Arts/ English Language Development and Mathematics programs, ensuring the needs of all of our students, and especially our second language learners, are met as we continue to help students recoup any potential learning loss. We know how difficult distance learning was for students and teachers alike; working to ensure students have foundational skills upon which to build is a priority for the 2022-23 school year. A combination of a rich, well-rounded curriculum, highly qualified and caring staff and a long-standing commitment to excellence is ensuring that we prepare our students to meet the demands of an ever-changing global society and help to create the workforce of tomorrow.
We’re excited to introduce a new Science curriculum that blends hands-on investigations, activities focused around literacy, and interactive digital tools to empower students to think, read, write, and debate like real scientists and engineers. Thanks to the Science Task Force for their commitment and collaboration over the past two years; with their help, we have identified Amplify Science as a vehicle to help bring the NGSS and three-dimensional science learning to life as students are immersed in relevant, real-world problems in the curriculum, allowing them to investigate scientific phenomena, engage in collaboration and discussion, and develop models or explanations in order to arrive at solutions.
We’re also eager to introduce our all-new After-School Program that will allow students to participate in a variety of activities in safe, secure on-campus environments from the end of the school day until 6:00 pm at each of our four schools. Titled WINGS, an acronym for Wonder • Inspire • Nurture • Grow • Succeed, students will have the opportunity to do just that! Our WINGS program is designed to inspire passion and creativity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA), and a wide variety of sports. We will continue to provide access to the Stanton Boys and Girls Club as well as partner with CatalystKids for Before-and-After School child care programs. Theses programs will provide our students with balanced curriculum in which they have an opportunity to do their homework, participate in healthy recreation, learn new skills, and continue to build character through enrichment clubs and activities. Through these opportunities, we will ensure our students are prepared with 21st Century skills.
Because student and staff safety are paramount, we are continually assessing the safety and security needs of our campuses and are proud of the systems we have in place. We have consistently undertaken measures to ensure the safety of our schools in the past and will continue to do so. Furthering our commitment to student and staff safety, additional cameras were added in a variety of areas throughout the District. While the cameras provide the ability for monitoring on an as-needed basis, there is no audio recording. We will continue with the implementation of NaviGate Prepared in order to provide staff with immediate, real-time access to all the information and tools they need to help ensure the safety of students and staff in an emergency situation. We’re extremely grateful that we’ve been able to complete much-needed enhancements that will provide students and staff with safe, secure facilities to meet the demands of 21st Century learning. These projects and more will impact our children's education and our community for generations to come.
As important as the physical safety and security of our campuses is, the social-emotional security our students need is critically important. With the implementation of Second Step, our social-emotional curriculum, students are learning to develop a growth mindset, recognize emotions, develop empathy toward others and practice problem-solving skills. The success of the digital online version of the Second Step curriculum last year provided a strong foundation for us to continue to address the social-emotional development, safety, and well-being of students. Knowing that when our staff thrive, our students thrive, we’ve expanded Second Step to include the adult version focused on building trust, managing stress, exploring equity and belonging, and cultivating resilience and efficacy. As we continue to focus on the well-being of our students, staff, and families in creating a healthy learning environment, we’ve partnered with Care Solace to provide an additional layer of care for our community. Care Solace helps individuals find mental health care providers and substance use treatment centers twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. With Care Solace, families and staff gain access to a myriad of personalized support services quickly and confidentially with multilingual teams of providers.
We’ve partnered with the Orange County Health Care Agency and the Orange County Department of Education to help meet the social and emotional needs of students. Our schools’ commitment to exemplary programs that create safe and inclusive environments for all students can be evidenced at each site, some similar and others to meet the unique needs of the students, parents, and staff. Each school has embraced Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) implementation, ensuring positive behaviors throughout the campus. Reflecting on our professional development programs from the 2021-22 school year, we know how crucial it is to continue to build strong relationships with students, parents, and each other. We will reinvigorate partnership programs to involve parents in school activities; these partnerships will help strengthen the home to school connections while allowing students and parents with opportunities to flourish together. Through partnerships, we will be able to offer parenting skills classes, provide high school-aged ‘big brothers and big sisters’, and enhanced counseling and anger management classes for students and families in need. Partnerships such as these are essential in ensuring our students have the support of the entire community to assure their success!
With the evolving needs of school sites, students, and staff have driven projects that we’ve consistently undertaken. Thanks to monies from the sale of Perez School, state school bond reimbursements, and a variety of state and federal funding sources, we’ve been able to complete a variety of projects including the addition of additional lunch shelters on each campus, bringing parity among school sites with the addition of a STEM Center and two additional Technology Learning Centers at Holder School, upgrading our infrastructure and providing class sets of iPads in all classrooms. We know just how important it is for students to use technological tools to enhance their learning; we want to refocus on our efforts to ensure the use of SeeSaw and Google Classroom to support the instructional program. By ensuring all third through sixth grade students will have the ability to check out a Chrome Book for home use, teachers will be able to utilize the online features of our curriculum for homework as well as for in-class assignments. We will continue the implementation of iReady throughout the District during the upcoming school year, providing focused intervention of skills in both language arts and math; the iReady data will provide teachers with essential information in order to develop focused intervention lessons for students. As we continue moving forward with technology, we are indeed preparing Today’s Learners to become Tomorrow’s Leaders as we ensure students have digital literacy skills that will propel them into college and career readiness.
Our Summer Academy program provided academic support for over 400 students this summer; the staff did an outstanding job to help Today’s Learners become Tomorrow’s Leaders. Students were immersed in lessons to help them recoup any potential learning loss in fun, engaging ways. Custodial, maintenance, and grounds staff have been busily preparing our campuses to be the best they can be when you return to school. We have staff who have worked diligently ‘behind the scenes’ to prepare materials that will be ready for the school year ahead, including the delivery of all the textbooks and instructional materials to classrooms, ensuring ease of access to begin the year.
We invite you to follow the excitement of learning on our FaceBook page at https://www.facebook.com/SavannaSchoolDistrict/ where you will be able to see the many ways students and staff are engaged in educational activities and celebrating accomplishments on a daily basis!