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Superintendent’s Message

Dr. Soumakian, headshot.
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Dr. Gabe Soumakian
Dr. Gabe Soumakian

The Oxnard Union High School District welcomes back students as they report to school on Tuesday, September 4. The District is continuing to make remarkable progress toward the implementation of the Blueprint for Greatness.

The District CST test results were released on Friday, August 31 to the public at 10 a.m. and we are extremely pleased to report that the preliminary indication shows that every school in our District has at least doubled and over half the schools have quadrupled the Growth Target Rate set by the State. The District’s estimated Academic Performance Index (API), which measures academic process, has doubled this past year from the previous two year’s combined increase. Everyone in our community should be proud of our students, teachers, and staff for this remarkable achievement. We can’t wait to share this information in detail with you and the business community.

These test results reinforce why our vision for “redesigning the high school experience for the 21st century learner,” plays a critical role as we prepare students for the newly adopted Common Core State Standards. The freshman class of 2016 will transition the first four weeks of school by introduction of 21st century learning skills that are composed of critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity and civility. Learning these skills will empower our students to use higher order thinking skills and develop information literacy skills to help them solve complex problems as they prepare for a rapidly changing global economy.

This past year, our teachers and administrators have implemented a Strategic Schooling model for school improvement with Dennis Parker, and our district has received support from the education consulting firm Pivot Learning through numerous professional development opportunities.

Building and nurturing a professional learning community will continue to be our focus as our staff has the opportunity to share best practices, review student data and focus on curriculum alignment. As an example, English teachers met to align the assessments with the curriculum matched with the pacing calendar to complement the Algebra assessment and pacing calendars. Implementing effective instructional strategies and creating system alignment has resulted with more students achieving at proficiency and advanced levels resulting in less students who are functioning below basic levels in the core academic

The District is pleased to announce several data analytic systems that will enhance parent-to-school communication and provide parents access to student data in real time. Staff and parents will now have access to Synergy, our new student information system, through multiple web portals. Parents will connect through the parent view portal to access student attendance, grades and transcripts on a secure network to be viewed from an iPad, iPhone, or other handheld electronic device. Teachers and administrators will access Synergy from school and through any wireless device. The freshmen and sophomore students will begin to identify their career and college choices using Naviance as a tool to help plan their future academic pathway. In addition, teachers and staff have been training with our new Data Director student learning analytic system to determine how to respond when students need intervention. This tool provides teachers feedback for student learning data and identifies the learning gaps to guide the appropriate teaching and retesting strategies.

This summer, the federal E-Rate funding provided technology upgrades to our schools with switches, servers, and data systems that will connect to high-speed Internet and wireless networks. The connection from our schools to the Internet will increase tenfold to 10 gigabits, and all our schools will be completely wireless by December. Our students and staff will have the ability to access all data systems and electronic documents to support anywhere and anytime learning.

Why is all this important? Because we are committed to preparing students with the necessary skills for college and career leading to support the thriving and growing business industry in Ventura County. This is why it is critical that we “redesign the high school experience for the 21st-century learner,” our students.

Yes, we are ready for the 2012-2013 school year to prepare our students for the 21st century, and we look forward to serving our students and community. We must continue to work with parents, as our partners with teachers, to provide a personal learning experience, and we need your support. We encourage parents to view the Parent Portal to receive more information.

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