As we settle into the groove of the new school year and the dust of back to school happenings settles, I wanted to take an opportunity to personally welcome you back to the 2018-2019 school year!
Reflecting on the first full year as the proud Superintendent of Saddleback Valley Unified School District, 2017-2018 was a year full of bright spots and innovation throughout the district, with many final statistics coming in over the summer. Some of these include:
- 7 National Merit Scholars
- 87 Full International Baccalaureate Diplomas
- 44 Two Way Immersion Graduates
- Opening the SVUSD Virtual Academy, TK-6
- First Unified Sports Champion District in Orange County
- Platinum, & Gold PBIS Implementation Award Recognition (Los Alisos & Serrano Intermediate)
- Performing Arts Excellence with many award winners in performance & instrumental music
- 2 State, 7 CIF, and 13 League Titles
- 2 SVUSD Teachers named to the Top 10 & Top 25 Teachers by OC Parenting Magazine
- Supportive PTAs with 314,118 documented volunteer hours
These are just a few of the many great things happening throughout our district, and examples of what we can achieve when students, families, and educators work together with the common goal of supporting and providing a superior education for all students, and implementing SV Innovates. As you may recall, SV Innovates was the result of the many conversations I had with over 300 stakeholders when I first came back to SVUSD, and focuses on intentional lesson design, engaging strategies, and developing innovative practices that create successful students, both while they are with us in SVUSD and when they leave our campuses and pursue career goals.
Looking forward to 2018-2019, we continue our work implementing SV Innovates, and have spent the summer planning and creating opportunities for our students. We are proud to announce the openings of two new magnet schools for 2018-2019: Santiago STEAM Magnet Elementary School in Lake Forest and Linda Vista International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program Candidate Magnet School in Mission Viejo. Both schools had festive grand reopenings over the summer where families were able to tour the newly renovated schools, inclusive of innovation labs, flexible learning spaces, and technology upgrades.
The success of the K-6 SVUSD Virtual Academy (SVA) last year led to its expansion to grades 9-12 for the 2018-2019 school year. SVA blends online learning with face to face learning experiences to offer students in grades kindergarten through high school, a flexible and personalized online learning experience. While attending SVA, high school students have additional opportunities to participate in sports at their residence high schools. SVA, along with our two new magnet schools, complement our fabulous neighborhood schools and provide additional options and opportunities for our students and families.
It is also exciting to share that SVUSD students continue to outperform both the county and state in high school graduation rates and University of California/California State University “a-g” course requirement completion. SVUSD continues to increase the amount of students taking Advanced Placement courses, the number of Advanced Placement exams taken, and the overall Advanced Placement exam pass rate. Again, SVUSD is committed to student success now and in the future.
In order to ensure our teachers and staff have the necessary tools to continue offering amazing learning opportunities for all students, in 2018-2019 SVUSD is:
- Adding 3,219 Chromebooks for our students’ use.
- Converting 102 teacher classrooms into innovative learning spaces with flexible seating and upgraded technology through an application process.
- Replacing 1,000 staff computers, and will continue to do so over the next few years, making all staff computers 4 years old or less throughout the district.
Saddleback Valley Unified School District is full of innovation and I will close by sharing that SVUSD is indeed a special place that continuously strives to meet the needs of all our students. We have many bright spots throughout the district, but continue to push the boundaries of what is possible. Thank you for entrusting your children’s education with SVUSD, and may 2018-2019 be a year of learning, growth, and innovation!
Crystal Turner, Ed.D.