May 2018
Dear IUSD Community,

We are rapidly approaching the end of our school year and on to an exciting summer. Soon we will watch as our graduating class of seniors walk across the stage and onto their next adventures. We are eager to celebrate their accomplishments, and that of all our students and teachers who have worked tirelessly all year. We want to recognize the hard work and many hours spent by our staff and community stakeholders who work every day to ensure that our students are receiving the best opportunities in our classrooms.

This also marks the conclusion of my first school year as the State Administrator for the Inglewood Unified School District. I am truly honored to be able to come to work every day and see the motivation and dedication of our students, staff, and community work through these challenging times together. There is something about this place that is truly unique, an energy and spirit within this community that continues to inspire me. I thank you all for this opportunity and privilege of leading this District.
As I mentioned in our April Newsletter, our District Five-Year Strategic Plan in nearing completion. We have continued to share, refine, and adjust the plan to best fit the needs of our students, teachers, staff and larger community. One item this plan seeks to achieve is alignment between all our schools, departments, programs, and so much more! By having a common vision and mission, this plan, with its four Pillars, will guide us through the next five years.
The merger of Woodworth Elementary and Monroe Magnet Middle School into a new TK-8 school is a prime example of the comprehensive approach that I am taking to elevate opportunities for student success. We started this project in the fall of 2017 when Monroe 6th grade students were moved from outdated portables into a permanent facility. The classrooms were cleaned, painted, and surrounding grounds were landscaped.

At the end of April, t he next step was to formally create a new school Design Team to begin planning the program merger of the two schools onto one campus. Two joint all-staff meetings and four Design Team meetings were held at Monroe Middle School for both schools’ staffs and to begin reimagining their new school. Nexus partners, Concordia and Performance Fact, Inc., the district’s strategic planning partners, co-led two workshops in order to rethink the learning environment focusing on a design that will create great spaces that elevate creativity and innovation – critical for contemporary learning environments now and in the future.  

Finally, two facilities sessions were followed by a selection of an architect and contractor to design and build a new TK-5 village on the Monroe site. From the physical plant perspective, this project presented an opportunity to work with teachers, students, parents, and community members to enhance the campus design and also discuss the classroom learning environment. From a teaching and learning perspective, these workshops also provided an opportunity for the staffs at both schools to come together, collaborate, and begin to build a unified instructional core program and team for the new Tk-8 school.

Although summer is rapidly approaching, we will have several projects that will be happening over the break to improve and update our school facilities at Monroe and Payne Elementary, as we will continue to do for all of our schools over time.

Congratulations again to all of our graduating seniors on a job well done! I am looking forward to the graduation ceremony at the Forum and seeing the wonderful work our new alumni will go forward and achieve. In your future adventures, continue to dream, believe and achieve!

Dr. Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana