As president of the CCUSD Board of Education, I’m proud to share what we’ll be working on in the Culver City Schools community as we embark on a new academic year.
Before I get into details, I want to first acknowledge that we are in the midst of a significant leadership transition at the district level. We have separated from our former superintendent, after his second year of a three-year term, and brought on an interim superintendent, who retired from the Redondo Beach Unified School District and is subject to STRs retiree limitations. I want to stress that it has been no small feat for our community to keep us stable during these turbulent times, and I want to particularly thank our dedicated staff and teachers, as well as our school site leaders who stepped up during executive absences. This transition has provided me with a more profound understanding of the roles we must embrace to guarantee the success of our district. Collaboration and collective effort are imperative as we journey toward excellence together.
Here are some points of excellence that we have prioritized for the upcoming year:
1. Enhancing Support for Vulnerable Students: Our primary goal is to continue improving the Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP), ensuring that funds are effectively allocated to benefit our most vulnerable students (English learners, low-income students, unhoused students, and those in foster care).
2. Empowering Staff for Student Success: We are dedicated to enhancing the professional growth of our staff, particularly in fields that enable us to improve support for students with disabilities across all educational settings. Moreover, we are proactively exploring innovative approaches to expand our classroom staff and recruit new teachers. Both of these will significantly improve our inclusion plan.
3. Modernizing Facilities for a Better Learning Environment: Our ongoing efforts towards a facilities Bond initiative are critical. With three out of five necessary steps already completed, our goal is to move forward with this initiative to improve our educational facilities and create a more conducive learning environment for our students, our teachers and our staff.
4. Competitive Salaries for Educators: To retain and attract the best staff and teachers, we are dedicated to the stewardship of the CCUSD Long-term Revenue initiative. This initiative will allow us to offer competitive salaries that reflect the exceptional dedication and skills of our educators. We’ve compiled the data and prepared a presentation, which we eagerly anticipate sharing with staff this fall.
5. Listening: I want to reaffirm my unwavering commitment to conduct fall 2023 listening sessions, attentively listening to your concerns, seeking your input, and working diligently to shape our school district into the best possible environment for every student, teacher and staff. Fall 2022 listening sessions were focused on school safety.
In the end, these priorities will play a pivotal role in helping CCUSD achieve our collective objective: empowering our students to step into their genius. We achieve this by providing excellent educational opportunities. However, we must also remember that our children are still recovering from the pandemic. Therefore, it is crucial that we in partnership with New Earth continue to provide them with the support they need, whether that’s in the form of social-emotional support or essentials like food, shelter, and tutoring.
Si se puede, Culver City! Let’s embrace our students with more joy, warmth, and an abundance of everything they need for a fantastic new year. Each child possesses unique needs, and CCUSD is poised to offer equitable support for each and every child.
Paula Amezola, MPH
School Board President