A Message from Dr. Scroggin, Superintendent
Welcome to the 2013-2014 school year! This year will be filled with promise and possibility. While the goals of the Simi Valley Unified School District continue to be improving student achievement and increasing parent involvement in all aspects of school life, our Board of Education will be meeting to revisit those goals and to establish new goals focused on continuous improvement of the educational opportunities we offer our students.
Toward that end our Board has approved a Technology Improvement Plan that was presented to them by our District Technology Committee last spring. The plan includes three phases, the first of which will be implemented this year. By the end of August, every school will have Wi-Fi access. Teachers will receive laptops capable of handling classroom technology. A total of 52 mobile or fixed school computer labs will be established or upgraded. These labs will assist with the implementation of the Common Core Standards in the 2014-2015 school year. In addition this year we are launching a 1-1 Pilot of tablet devices in 40 classrooms across the district. Approximately 1,280 students will be using tablet devices in their classrooms to enhance and support their learning.
Also on the horizon for this school year is the addition of a Biotechnology component to the Medical Health Careers Academy at Simi Valley High School. Teachers wrote for and obtained a $50,000 grant to implement this program. The grant covers grades 7-14 which has enabled Simi Valley High School to partner with Valley View Middle School and Moorpark College in this effort.
Royal High School continues the expansion of the Citizen Scholar Institute in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library. The goal of the program is to help students become informed decision-makers and to foster an interest in public service and leadership. Hoping to expand this program, Royal High School is a candidate for the International Baccalaureate program and hopes to implement the program in the near future.
The Simi Valley Education Foundation applied for and received a grant from Alcoa that has been used to establish a Robotics club program at all middle and high schools. Robotics club programs are also available at many elementary schools, with our goal this year being to expand to all elementary schools.
The programs at Simi Valley High School and Royal High School and the Robotics club program are just three examples of innovative educational opportunities available to students in the Simi Valley Unified School District.
The Simi Valley Unified School District has two active committees this year which are focused on harnessing more resources to direct toward our classrooms and continuous improvement efforts by right-sizing our district’s financial plan. The School Consolidation Task Force is developing recommendations regarding the right-sizing of our district. They are exploring every option and will present their recommendations in the early fall. The Surplus Property Committee is developing recommendations regarding the disposition of certain properties owned by the district. To get more information on these committees or on the progress of the Technology Committee, go to the Budget Information tab on the district website and click on Budget Update.
Finally, at their August 6, 2013 Board meeting, the Board of Education approved the installation of solar at twenty-nine of our sites. Working with Solar City, the district will also be able to offer students the opportunity to learn about energy conservation.
We are excited about the 2013-2014 school year, a year which will most certainly be marked by many successes for our students!