Dear Simi Valley Schools Community:
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year!
The first day of school is upon us and we are excited to get started. Last year, we ushered in many changes to our schools and we, and our students, are better for it. Thank you all for your patience and your commitment to our children’s education. Here are some of the highlights from the last year:
- We opened the Justin Early Learners Academy to serve the preschool needs of our community.
- Connected Learning Programs were formed to thematically partner some of our elementary, middle and high schools. CLPs create seamless, focused learning experiences in international studies, fine and performing arts, medical sciences and more.
- Middle and high school Pathways programs continue to expand.
- Our high schools now offer more Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes to accommodate more students in higher-level classes.
- There are campus/facility improvements throughout the district, ranging from new landscaping to exteriors renovations, heating/AC systems and technology upgrades.
- Monte Vista School, the district’s homeschool program, moved to a permanent home at the former campus of Lincoln Elementary School. It also offered Kindergarten programs for the first time. The result was the doubling of its enrollment over the previous year!
- We gave ourselves a redo as well, by rolling out our new district logo, Promise Statement and motto.
We’re still working hard. Moving forward into this new school year, some of the new things you will find are:
- For the first time in a long time, we’ve hired 35 new teachers and will possibly bring on more during the year!
- The implementation of the Unique Learning System for teaching functional skills to our moderate and severe Special Education students.
- The piloting of prospective English/Language Arts curriculum in all grades.
- The piloting of the elementary Medal of Honor-Character Education national curriculum, which our teachers helped to write.
- We’ve expanded our Foreign Language offerings to include Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, Chinese, German and American Sign Language at some schools.
- Our district’s budget has received a three-year positive certification from the County.
- The rebranding of the Simi Valley Adult School, which will be revealed in the near future.
- Continued facility improvements at some campuses.
- The rollout of 14,000 Chromebooks and carts for our classrooms. Also, the District’s WiFi systems will be upgraded at every campus.
- Measure X, the General Obligation Bond, will appear on the November 8 ballot for voter approval. (More information can be found on the District’s website, simivalleyusd.org.)
Improving student achievement and ensuring that every member of our staff continues to provide the best customer service possible to our families remain our top priorities. We believe that every child coming through our doors can and will reach their highest potential. From our highly qualified teachers to our nurturing and compassionate counselors, administrators and support professionals, we create an environment of inclusion and instill a love for learning. Our doors are open to every child; that’s our promise to you.
With innovation comes change. Once again, we ask for your patience as we continue to implement programs and systems to improve our students’ educational experience. If we stumble along the way, please let us know. We are here for all of you. And please, remember to drive safely in and around our campuses, especially in these first weeks of schools.
Our students are our top priority because at Simi Valley Schools, our students go from here to anywhere!
Have a wonderful school year.
Dr. Jason Peplinski