Welcome to Our Schools
I want to personally welcome you to this wonderful new place for all of us to get the latest news and information about our local students and local schools. The “Our Schools” page represents months of planning and collaboration about the ways in which our schools and our community come together.
I see the “Our Schools” page as an important resource for our school families as well as our community at large. So many exciting events, accomplishments, and activities are happening in our schools each week, and now we will be able to share more of those stories and announcements with you through Lorna Sheridan’s weekly Education Update.
In addition, this page will provide a helpful schools calendar of education-related events and activities at all Valley schools.
I plan to contribute a monthly column for this page, as will the leaders of our local youth-focused nonprofits, including the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley, and the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance. The goal will be to simply keep you in the loop on what is happening in our Valley schools.
Over the coming months, you will able to read teacher profiles, messages from our local principals, tips on helping your child succeed in school, and important news stories about education, including the new A-to-G high school graduation requirements, and the solar energy project under way throughout the school district. Volunteers will find opportunities to help out here, and we will all be discussing the serious challenges that our schools face as we work to prepare all of our students for a both college and a career.
We hope this page will quickly become one of your favorite local destinations, a place you return to time and time again, always finding some information that is useful, interesting and inspiring. That is how I feel about my work with the students of our Valley –they are always interesting and always inspiring!
So let me tell you briefly about why I am here.
Twenty years ago this August, I took a chance.
With two weeks left before the start of the school year I was offered a teaching position at Sonoma Valley High School. The teacher who had been offered the position decided at the last minute not to take the job, so the school and a science teacher on staff knew I would be interested.
While I would be taking a 50-percent cut in salary – I was then working as a research scientist in the Protein Biochemistry Department at Genencor International – I knew that teaching was my true passion. I never looked back.
Fast forward to 2011 and, as superintendent, I’m just as passionate now about educating children as I was 20 years ago.
I know that every child in this Valley can be a success and setting up those opportunities for success is our most critical work. We spent a great deal of time this past school year discussing and then changing high school graduation requirements, allowing all students the opportunity to be college-ready upon graduation. We look at the work this coming year with a focus on preparing all students to be career ready upon graduation.
While our expectation as a school district is
or all students to be college and career ready upon high school graduation, we also know that the work in achieving this goal truly begins in pre-school.
We know that in order for students to be college- and career-ready upon graduation, they must be ready for college prep course work in ninth grade, proficient in English by sixth grade, reading at grade level by third grade. And in order for this to all be in place, they need to begin their educational journey with a high quality preschool experience.
We still have a tremendous amount of work to do in achieving these goals, but that is to be expected. We also know that this work cannot be completed without the support of the community-at-large. We live in an amazing place with so much attention given to the youth in Sonoma Valley.
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Louann Carlomagno is superintendent of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District.