Welcome PGUSD families! We are always excited to start off a new year endeavoring to challenge every student with exceptional and equitable learning opportunities. This year we will emphasize our efforts on building excellent instructional and support programs with a focus on equity. Using the equity lens we are committed to reflecting on our practice as educators, and district staff, in order to meet our students where they are, and helping them achieve continued success. Part of this goal is to help foster not only a love of learning, but also of inquiry, the arts, extra-curricular activities and service.
It is imperative that we make the most of our efforts, so to help us along we are employing a “hot” theme this year: “What’s Your 1 Degree, PGUSD?” At sea level, 211° water remains a very hot liquid, but heat it up just one notch to 212° and it boils, changing its state to steam. That 1° makes all the difference. We are challenging ourselves as staff members at PGUSD to each find and exert that 1° of effort which will make our work with, and for, students even more impactful. All it takes is 1°! Look for the blue “What’s Your 1°PGUSD?” lanyard and lapel pin worn by our staff.
We have also aligned our local district strategic plan, school board goals, site plans and our state Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). It may sound complicated, but really it comes down to a few things. First, we recognize that equity is not necessarily equality. Sometimes some students require more than others to achieve success, and with that comes the proper alignment of resources. This doesn’t mean that other students will receive less, but it does mean that we must be intentional in the way we approach our systems of learning and support. We are up to the task and have focused on professional development that reinvigorates our efforts. Second, our district plans are, in part, a response to the academic results that we are seeing from the state testing system, as well as our local measures of assessment. Our plans emphasize building a solid program for all of our district’s students, and more intensive intervention for our English Learners, Special Education and Economically Disadvantaged students. Again, our staff development is keyed directly to these efforts. Ultimately, all students are well served because effective instructional strategies positively impact all students. As the saying goes, “All boats rise with the tide.” Finally, a priority is still placed on student safety and well-being. We are continuing to enhance our facilities with safety in mind, and regularly update our staff emergency response protocols to meet the standards. The response and participation for our families and community partners have been tremendous, and we anticipate the continued partnership.
We also welcome many new staff members at all of our sites and offices. Our Human Resources department has excelled in recruiting and hiring the very best, and we are proud that they have chosen to be part of the PGUSD family. In particular, I wish to welcome our new Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Song Chin-Bendib, who brings a very strong professional skill-set. Song is not only committed to maintaining fiscal solvency, but also to being present at the sites getting to know our staff and students, which will help inform her decisions regarding budget and program management. Come by and say hello to Song when you get a chance.
This is going to be a fantastic year and I, for one, am looking forward to the wonderful opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, and to the continued Partnership in Excellence that has kept PGUSD going strong these many years.
Dr. Ralph G. Porras, Superintendent