A great deal to celebrate
Looking back over the past year-and-a-half, we can see that, the Sonoma Valley Unified School District has a great deal to celebrate, on so many levels. We first celebrate several retirees and thank them for their dedicated service to our school district and community: Anne Watson (Adele Harrison), Carole Carlisle (Altimira), Mike Witkowski and Sandi Everett (Dunbar), Kerry Oswald (Gateway), Linda Donahoe and Blair Thompson (Sassarini), Sandra Lee Jones (adult school), Darrel Ross and Barbara McElroy; classified staff: Rose Antol, Jeanne Barrett, Rose Carey, Ken Crandall and Frances Larsen (SVHS), and last, but certainly not least, Eric Muller (districtwide). We say “so-long” and wish them well in their retirement.
Throughout the last year-and-a-half, as a district, we celebrated a number of successes and the list below will remind all stakeholders of the incredible work that has been accomplished. We celebrate these accomplishments as a team – students, educators, families, trustees, and community members – each and every one of us contributes. The events and activities are roughly in chronological order and certainly not exhaustive.
Summer and fall 2010:
• More than 55 teachers participate in summer trainings focused on ELD, The Responsive Classroom, AVID, AP coursework, Thinking Maps and much more.
• SVUSD receives a federal, $3.6 million, Investing in Innovations grant with matching funds – focused on the integration of science and ELD in grades K-5 – in conjunction with the exploratorium.
• JumpStart Kindergarten takes place at all elementary school sites, focusing on our youngest learners with no prior formal schooling experience.
• After School Education and Safety programs begin at Dunbar and Altimira, with Dunbar having our consistently best enrollment and Altimira having more than 60 percent of students with improved grades and more than 90 percent of students with improved attendance and decreased discipline.
• Flowery School celebrates its first year as a full magnet school for dual immersion.
• The Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley begins implementation of their $100,000 Impact 100 grant, focused on preparing SVHS students for college and career.
• El Verano School receives a $30,000 grant from UC Davis to focus on professional development and teacher practice.
• Rotary Club of Sonoma Valley donates $11,000 to summer school programs throughout the district.
• The Youth Initiative of the Sonoma Valley Fund donates $30,000 to summer school programs.
• We begin Harvest of the Month for all elementary students. Each month, a selected fruit or vegetable is brought in to every classroom for every student to taste, talk about and learn about.
• We now have fresh fruit and vegetable bars at the sites, thanks to our food service department, under the leadership of Donna Luzzi.
• Both middle schools receive a garden grant totaling $135,000.
• The Sonoma Valley Unified School District passes Measure H – a $40 million general obligation bond, with overwhelming community support.
• • •
• The Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance celebrates its 15th anniversary serving students in Sonoma Valley. This year alone they have recruited, trained and matched 80 new mentors, bringing their total to 450 mentors.
• Purple Pinkies! Students raise more than $2,000 district-wide to support our local Rotary Club in their work to address worldwide polio eradication.
• Adele Harrison begins its afterschool intervention and enrichment program with a $30,000 grant from the Sonoma Valley Fund.
• Tony Moll and the NFL donate a total of $10,000 to Sonoma Valley High School.
• Classified Employees of the Year – Denise Kirkwood, Terry Campbell, Mary George Simonitch and Deborah Van Horn receive local and countywide recognition.
• Sassarini hosts its successful Mystery Reader Program to celebrate and encourage reading across the grades.
• Six community forums are held to share information and answer questions regarding the district initiative focusing on preparing all students to be college and career ready upon graduation.
• Creekside High School begins a program in collaboration with the teen center to sell crafts at the local farmers market.
• SVHS Mock Trial Team places first in Napa and Mendocino counties and successfully participates in the state meeting, thanks to Janet Hansen.
• The Districtwide Music Committee is in place and begins meeting, thanks to Bob Gossett.
• Dunbar completes its Read Around the World Program and continues with its tremendously successful homegrown, hands-on science program.
• Prestwood Team Time and After School Intervention is in full swing with great results in student participation and achievement.
• Sonoma Charter School receives a donation of $2,000 to their library for books. Parent groups then repaint, and cull books in their library, using the expertise of a children’s librarian from Sacramento.
• Gardens – beautiful gardens – are growing at each school site, thanks to the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Kathleen Hill and Alissa Pearce.
• • •
• Craig Madison (El Verano) receives the very competitive, $10,000 Amgen Science Award.
• Sonoma Valley International Film Festival features films from Sonoma Valley High School students, thanks to Peter Hansen, with incredibly positive community response.
• The annual Gym Jam successfully celebrates our K-12, district-wide music program.
• Transportation is ready to roll with our student tracking and GPS system. Implementation begins in the fall.
• Woodland Star receives a $5,000 gardening grant from Lowe’s to enhance the gardening curriculum for the middle school students.
• SVHS Design Team completes its work on the Freshman Team Project and freshman team members are introduced to the faculty.
• Students in Dave Neubacher’s class place first in California for their environmental science project.
• Prestwood successfully completes its third Walk and Roll to School event with more than 70 percent participation.
• Jazz Plus takes place with many district volunteers and student performances – instruments and funds are donated to our music program.
• More than $2 million in scholarships and grants are earned by SVHS graduating seniors, with more than $200,000 coming from our local community.
• The Seal of Biliteracy is approved by the board of trustees and awarded to 11 graduating seniors.
• SVHS publishes its first Career Technical Education (CTE) newsletter, highlighting the great successes of our CTE program, thanks to Kathleen Hawing.
• The first class of dual immersion students graduate from SVHS with a student from this program, Noah Huyette, being recognized as the class of 2011 valedictorian.
• • •
Louann Carlomagno is superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District.