Welcome back! I hope everyone had a fun and relaxing summer. The first week of school went smoothly and students are settling nicely into their new classrooms. The start of the school year is always an exciting time for students, educators, and parents. It is the perfect time to set new goals and prepare for a successful year.
The summer was especially busy for the District offices with the opening of the brand new Family Welcome and Enrollment Center. The Enrollment Center now serves as a centralized place where new families can enroll all of their children at one convenient location. Additionally, at the time of enrollment parents receive resources and information they need to support the educational success of their students.
In the 2014-2015 school year, the District will fully transition to the Common Core State Standards. As our workforce evolves, and the need for highly specialized jobs increases, teaching students to be critical thinkers and creative problem solvers is essential. It is our responsibility to develop a curriculum that meets the growing demands of the workforce and to ensure our students, at the time of their graduation, are able to enter the college of their choice or begin their path towards a satisfying career. Our goal has never changed, which is to maximize student achievement. Common Core strengths our education standards to help us accomplish this goal.
We have also been busy modernizing our schools. Current projects include Riviera and Towers Elementary Schools as well as North High. Torrance High is awaiting approval from the Department of State Architect with construction scheduled to begin late next year. Since the passing of Measures Y and Z six years ago, the District has opened the new J.H. Hull Middle School, reunited Fern Elementary School with new fourth and fifth grade buildings, redone the four high school athletic fields, and completed renovation projects at Hickory, Seaside, Walteria, and Wood Elementary Schools, Bert Lynn, Calle Mayor, Madrona, and Magruder Middle Schools, and South High School. Projects were completed on time and within budget. We are so excited and proud to see the successful progression of all Measure Y and Z projects.
Also this summer, the TUSD Board of Education unanimously voted to place two bonds – Measure T and U – on the November ballot. Measure T would address security and technology needs of the District, whereas Measure U would primarily enable the District to improve playgrounds and physical education facilities at all our schools. Measure U would also provide funds to build an aquatic center, a much needed resource that would be utilized by TUSD students and the community at large.
Educating a child is a community effort. I am sure, that by working together, we will once again have a school year full of learning and great achievements.