101 West Cochran Street,
Simi Valley, California 93065
(805) 306-4500 Phone | (805) 520-6504 Fax

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Dr. Jason Peplinski
District Superintendent

Extension 4001

Star Espinoza
Executive Assistant

Extension 4002

Jake Finch
Public Relations/Resource Development Coordinator

Extension 4006


Welcome to the Superintendent's Office

August 13, 2018

Dear Simi Valley Schools Community:

Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year. This year promises to be one of our best! 

With the first day of school quickly approaching, I want to assure all of our families that our staff has worked hard over the last couple of months to get our schools ready for our students. As superintendent of Simi Valley Schools, I am proud of the effort and enthusiasm all of our employees have put into the coming school year. I have watched our teachers transform their classrooms into fun and organized places to learn. Our custodians and maintenance personnel have cleaned and fixed our campuses, making them as safe, clean and functional. Many of our departments have spent the summer updating systems and procedures to better serve our community. Hiring and training new employees have kept us very busy at the district office. All of this work has been accomplished with positive energy and many smiles.

Over the summer, many changes have been made to our campuses. From new air conditioning at Santa Susana and Simi Valley high schools to the first steps in our new shade structures, curb appeal projects and parking lot renovations, many of our schools are undergoing significant changes that, when finished, will add to their comfort, safety and visual appeal. Most of these projects are funded through Measure X, the 2016 school bond the voters of Simi Valley graciously approved. 

Part of the Measure X Bond includes refurbishing all of the classrooms in the Simi Valley Unified School District. Just as teaching methods evolve to meet the needs of today’s learners, so do our classrooms. Flexible Furniture allows students to collaborate better, to stand at times, to move while learning, and more. In 2017-2018, we piloted different furniture types and configurations in 40 classrooms, spread across all grade levels and subjects. These pilot classrooms happened at Arroyo, Atherwood, Madera, Santa Susana, Township and Wood Ranch elementary schools; Royal and Santa Susana high schools; and Valley View Middle School.

The following pictures are from several of our pilot classrooms at Wood Ranch Elementary School and Santa Susana High School. 

Over the summer, four schools received schoolwide classroom updates. They are Arroyo, Knolls, Mountain View and Wood Ranch elementary schools. Each school has new furniture arrangements for all of its classrooms, along with a MakerSpace and library renovations. From the pilot program, we developed some overriding standards for what works in different types of classrooms, but teachers provided input for their specific classrooms. In time, every classroom in the district will be outfitted with Flexible Furniture.

This year, we celebrate 37 new teachers and 17 new classified employees coming to our schools. We also welcome our new and promoted school and district leaders to Simi Valley Schools. We’re delighted for their new positions and know they will be wonderful resources for you at their respective sites. They are:

  • Sean Goldman, Assistant Superintendent of Student Support Services
  • Julie Ellis, Director of Elementary Education (former principal at Vista Elementary School)
  • Dr. Terri Leon, Principal at Atherwood Elementary School
  • Sean Platt, Principal at Big Springs Elementary School (former principal at Atherwood Elementary)
  • Brad Tori, Principal of Sinaloa Middle School (former assistant principal at Santa Susana High School)
  • Erin Taggart, Principal of Vista Elementary School (former principal at Park View Elementary)
  • Jennifer Conmay, Principal of Park View Elementary School (former assistant principal at Sinaloa Middle School)
  • Matthew Long, Assistant Principal of Sinaloa Middle School
  • John McCarter, Teacher on Special Assignment-Science
  • Dan Shuster, Teacher on Special Assignment-Education Technology
  • Tracie Bowden, Teacher on Special Assignment-English/Language Arts
  • Jason Quartararo, Assistant Principal at Santa Susana High School (from outside of our district)

While we’re enjoying the many wonderful things happening around our district, our main goals to increase student achievement, improve customer service and make our campuses as safe as possible remain our top priorities. Our mission is to welcome every child coming to our schools and to help them reach their highest potential. We provide an atmosphere of inclusion for all students and work hard to instill a lifelong love of learning.

This year, we are once again celebrating the first day of school with a social media event. For those who are willing, we are asking that any pictures of your children that you post to your social media of choice (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) that you include the hash tag #SimiSchoolsFirstDay2018 on your post. Last year we had more than 750 families and staff members participate in the first day of school campaign. Within a couple of weeks of this year’s effort, we will once again put together a slide show with as many of your pictures as possible. 

Thank you for trusting us with your children. We are proud to serve our families. Please remember to drive safely in and around our schools during these first weeks especially. And remember that at Simi Valley Schools, our students go from here to anywhere!

Dr. Jason Peplinski
District Superintendent
Simi Valley Schools




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