Welcome Back to School from Supt. Dr. Jason Peplinski

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Dear Simi Valley Schools Community:

Today our students started the 2015-2016 school year and we are honored and thrilled to have them with us!

There are many changes this year, from new math textbooks and instructional materials in all grades, to all-day kindergarten, improved technology in every classroom, and College-and-Career Readiness programs in our middle and high schools, to name just a few. We know that some of these changes might be overwhelming, but we are also very excited by the opportunities these bring to our staff and students.

Change is not always graceful or easy, but we know that these changes will benefit our students in the most positive of ways. Our students will be better prepared for their future. They will not just be filled with facts, but with a love of learning that will extend far beyond our time with them.

It is not enough to declare change. Change must be nurtured and adjusted to be successful. In the coming months, you will see new and improved programs and methods to reach out to all of you because we do want to know if what we are doing works for you. Look for revamped websites, a district smart phone app for direct parent communications, and expanded social media outreach. We are bringing in new software to better disclose our fiscal status, making us more transparent to the public. We are also working to make our campuses as safe, efficient, and attractive as possible. Many of these things will take time to complete, but we are excited about the possibilities they will bring. As I told our staff last week, I ask that you honor that space between “no longer” and “not quite yet,” and please be assured that we are working tirelessly to complete all of these tasks as quickly as possible.

We ask that you walk with us on this journey, that you support our staff and students as they embark on these amazing years to come, and that you offer your input if we stumble along the way. We are here for you, whether you reach out to our staff at our school sites or the district office, come to me, or turn to your SVUSD Board Trustees.

Have an amazing 2015-2016 school year!

Dr. Jason Peplinski
SVUSD Superintendent

Getting the Word Out About Traffic Safety-A Message from the SVPD and Us

For almost 18,000 children, Monday marks the end of Summer 2015 as Simi Valley public schools open for the first day of school.

The first days and weeks of school bring nerves and excitement to our school sites. They also bring increased traffic and frustration around our campuses and those neighborhoods as parents and their children navigate parking lots and narrow residential streets to get to school. When School of Choice was implemented, many students transferred to schools outside of their immediate neighborhoods, requiring families to drive their children to school, hence the increasing congestion in recent years.

The Simi Valley Unified School District has partnered with the Simi Valley Police Department to offer a public service presentation about traffic concerns around our school sites. The link below will take you to our home page, where the PowerPoint can be found at the top of the page.

SVPD Commander Robert Arabian said his traffic officers will increase patrols in and around school sites during the first few weeks of school.

“The major congestion happens when a parking lot is full and the (driver) just stops (on the street),” he said.

Drivers are not allowed to interfere with the flow of traffic on a street by stopping and waiting to turn into a school’s parking lot, he said, and may end up with a citation if they block traffic.

The link below offer a PowerPoint presentation on traffic safety. The SVPD has asked that parents watch the presentation to understand how the traffic rules apply around campuses.

Besides the presentation, there are several basic dos and don’ts that can help all of us manage traffic around our school sites better and keep our students safe.

  1. When lined up in a school parking lot to drop off or pick up a child, please move your car as far forward as possible to allow the cars behind to move into the parking lot.
  2. Obey the posted speed limits.
  3. Don’t block the sidewalk by stopping your car short of the parking lot. Children walk and ride bikes on the sidewalks and it’s illegal–and dangerous–to block their ability to move.
  4. Never, ever allow your child to run into the street to jump into your car! The same goes for stopping short of the designated pick up area in a school’s parking lot to let your child jump into the car.
  5. Learn the school’s parking lot pick up/drop off routine. Every campus has one.
  6. Listen to the city’s crossing guards and the school’s staff and volunteers who help direct traffic. They are there to protect your children.
  7. The SVPD is asking that if you approach a parking lot and cannot fully enter it because of other cars, that you circle the block and return, instead of stopping in the middle of the street and waiting for traffic to clear. This might take a few minutes longer, but you won’t run the risk of receiving a traffic citation for blocking other drivers.
  8. Be patient! Traffic usually lightens as the school year progresses.
  9. Please be considerate of the homeowners surrounding our schools. Don’t block their driveways or access to their homes.
  10. Do try to form carpools with other parents to lessen the amount of cars coming to school.

With everyone’s cooperation, we can keep our students safe as they come and go from school.