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Message from the Superintendent

The man is smiling.
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Dr. Gabe Soumakian
Dr. Gabe Soumakian

Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! Education
in the State of California and the Oxnard Union High School District will
experience a major shift in both funding and learning systems with the advent
of the Common
Core State Standard
(CCSS), 21st
Century Learning
delivery, as well as the new Smarter
Balanced Assessments
. Transitioning to this method of teaching and
learning will require increased professional development for our teachers and
new learning tools for our students. To help guide our instructional direction
and implement the vision, the Board
of Education
has established the District’s
Overarching Goals
for the 2013-2014 year.

The Local
Control Funding Formula
(LCFF) will radically change how schools are
funded from the traditional formula established almost forty years ago.
Districts will no longer be funded from the State with the Base Revenue Limits
and Categorical funding. Each District will now be funded with Base funding and an additional Supplemental and
Concentration funding calculated by the number of students who qualify for
Free/Reduced Meals, students identified as English Learners, and Foster
Students. Our District will continue to receive federal funding through
Title I program and other federal funds based on students who qualify.

Our District is in a major crossroads in
education created by all the changes in funding and learning systems that is
compelling us to ÒRedesign the High School Experience for the 21st
Century Learner.Ó One option is to continue to do business as usual and tinker
around the edges with change or we can choose to be innovative and apply
different thinking about how we will address these challenges as new
accountability systems come online.

Applying Moonshot Thinking is
an approach to use breakthrough innovative thinking. How did we as a nation
tackle President John F Kennedy’s challenge of going to the moon when man had
never done it?  Well, it takes
courageous leadership and a dream. So how do we implement the shift to the CCSS
and 21st Century Learning to prepare students for College,
Career
, and Life readiness skills to the level we have never done
before? One thing is certain, we can’t do it using the same systems and the
same tools. Just as technology is transforming the automobile industry from the
traditional combustion engine to the revolutionary electric
propelled automobile
, teachers and students will need to adapt to
new systems using modern tools and resources. While there will be many
challenges and the change process will be hard work, we know that it will be a
rewarding process that is both exciting and energizing.

To help our District through this process, the
State will provide additional funding to Districts specifically to implement
the CCSS that must be spent on 1) professional development for staff, 2) CCSS
curriculum and Electronic Learning Resources, and 3)
technology to implement the Smart Balanced Assessment for the Spring of
2015.  Our District will provide training for implementing the CCSS, Professional Learning Communities, and
deployment of a Learning Management System (Desire 2 Learn.com). This year our staff
will be evaluating CCSS curriculum and resources to determine the solution that
will best meet our needs. We are still waiting for the State Board of
Education
to finalize the curriculum and testing so we can make our
decisions by the end of this school year.

This past year the District enhanced its
technology infrastructure through E-Rate funding to install switches, servers,
and a high density Wi-Fi system throughout the District. This system will allow
staff and students to access our network using the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) plan and guidelines
for implementation. In addition, we have purchased a limited number of tablets
to pilot and test before we determine the best personal devices to invest in.
The landscape of tablets and smartphones are changing rapidly and we want to be
certain that our network and new devices are compatible with the new learning
environment. Most essential is the ability for students and staff to access
content and Electronic Learning Resources with any devices from anywhere
through our web portal. Our students in Student View and parents in Parent View are
encouraged to access current real time grades and attendance information from
our Synergy Student Information System.

We look forward to a great year as we embrace
transitions, and create a culture of innovation to help prepare students for
the new world economy that demands a workforce with a Growth Mindset.

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