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Superintendent's Briefcase: Welcome to the New School Year

Castro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Jim Negri welcomes students, parents, and staff to the 2012-2013 school year, which begins Aug. 28.

On behalf of the Board of Education, and our outstanding teachers, support staff, and administrators, I welcome you to the 2012-2013 school year.

The has a long tradition of academic excellence and a strong commitment to the success of every student. I am fully committed to building upon this tradition.

I thank you for choosing the Castro Valley Unified School District to educate your sons and daughters. We appreciate your trust in us and we accept the responsibility to ensure that your student graduates with the 21st skills necessary for success in a competitive global society. Our goal is to provide every student with a high quality education.

The mission of the district is to provide all students with programs of excellence that instill a passion for life-long learning while preparing them for the challenges of tomorrow. Simply stated, our task is preparing our students for their future. Our parents and community members are critical partners in the education of our students - it truly does take a village to raise a child. The staff and I are looking forward to working with you to support our students on their educational journey.

The success of every student is always our number one priority. We work continuously to develop each student's knowledge, skills, and attitude so that when a student graduates from high school, he or she will have choices — college, the military, work or community service — regarding his or her future.

Despite the budget challenges in recent years, our dedicated staff has consistently provided high-quality programs that both challenge every student while providing the appropriate support for all students to meet academic standards. and continue to offer a wide range of programs for all students. We are excited about starting Transitional Kindergarten classes this year.

Last year, our continuing efforts to provide a high-quality education for every student were recognized in many ways:

  • , , , , and Schools were recognized as ;
  • was
  • Redwood and Castro Valley High Schools received full terms of accreditation from Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC);
  • Eight schools were recognized as Honor Roll Schools by California Business for Education Excellence for their academic achievement;
  • by the for their recycling efforts.

The list of student, staff, and school achievements goes on and on. I encourage you check out the individual school websites for more detailed information about their achievements and upcoming events.

We are looking forward to even greater achievements this year as the district prepares for the implementation of the national Common Core Standards. These standards are rigorous and challenging, but they are what students need to be successful 21st century global citizens. In August, we initiate a professional development program to support our teachers to effectively teach to these rigorous standards. As the year progresses, you will hear more about the standards.

Castro Valley parents and residents are passionate about making certain that every student receives a well-rounded, high quality education, but realize that state funding alone is not enough. A strong partnership between the schools, the parents, and the community is essential for the success of any district.

I am continually awed by the strong partnerships that exist in Castro Valley. The support from our parents, our foundations, and our community translates into an enhanced and enriched learning experience for students. I thank our foundations (Castro Valley Arts Foundation, Castro Valley Educational Foundation, Castro Valley Sports Foundation, Save Our Schools Castro Valley!), PTAs, Parent Clubs, and other parent organizations (Music Parents Society, Athletic Boosters) for their outstanding financial and volunteer support. Without these organizations our students would not have the learning experiences that they have.  

I strongly encourage you to be actively involved in one of these organizations. There is a role for every parent and every community member. Your support and participation is greatly appreciated and our students directly benefit.

As superintendent, I am committed to keeping you informed about the district and our schools through our district website, various e-newsletters and meetings. Please check the district website for additional information and sign-up for one of the district e-newsletters.

I am looking forward to great success in the coming year. Please join me on the journey.

I enjoy meeting each of you so if you see me at a school or in town, please take a moment to introduce yourself and share your thoughts about the Castro Valley Unified School District.

*Editor's Note: This was originally published as the Superintendent's Newsletter.

Rob Phillips August 20, 2012 at 04:29 PM
A lot of warm fuzzy words about the coming school year. Here's one reality the Superintendent glosses over in his rosy assessment: The last two bond issues increased district facilities by many thousands of square feet requiring additional custodial and maintenance staff. The new recycling program also requires a lot of additional custodial time. Due to budget cuts, instead adding the needed custodians and maintenance workers, the staff was cut by six custodians and two maintenance workers. The summer classroom deep cleaning program was also cut and the classrooms, except for stripping and waxing floors, have not been deep cleaned for three years. School year classroom cleaning is at bare minimum levels with many classrooms on a 3 times a week "skip" schedule. A lot of maintenance that keeps things working does not get done so a faucet that needs repair breaks and needs an expensive replacement. A desk that is missing a leg glide that would be repaired immediately is left to gouge the tile floor. Employees are working harder than ever to keep up with this workload, with a spike in occupational injuries. This offsets the savings of the staffing cuts with Workman's Comp claims and the hiring of substitutes. In the area of providing a supportive learning environment for your student the CVUSD is being pennywise and pound foolish and the classrooms show it. The custodial and maintenance supervisors are working with one hand tied behind their back. They need more funding.

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