In 2015, our PVPUSD Board of Education developed eight District Goals to guide our work and establish priorities. The goals are concise, meaningful, and designed to focus our work on things that matter most to preserving the best aspects of our District and pushing us to find the next right answers.
PVPUSD was one of the first school districts in the nation to launch a high school engineering and robotics program. Over the past several years, STEM has been expanded to all schools in the district, from elementary to high school. PVPUSD's STEM program remains a model of excellence while remaining one of the most inclusive: over 1,000 fourth and fifth grade students experienced STEM instruction in 2014-15, STEM remains the most popular elective at the middle schools, and hundreds of students enroll annually in STEM classes and after school clubs at the high schools.
The Palos Verdes Life Skills Center at Palos Verdes High School opened its doors to students in January 2015. The center supports students in need of skills for independence at the secondary level. The center includes a fully functioning kitchen space with a sink, stove, oven, and microwave as well as laundry facilities. Additionally, it has two private restrooms, one that is wheelchair accessible and ADA approved.
At Miraleste and Valmonte Learning Centers, we dedicate ourselves to the students in our care. We strive to provide a nurturing and emotionally secure environment to help children develop to their full potential. Emphasis is placed on social, emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive development. It is our goal to teach each child in an orderly environment those skills that will enable them to grow.
This time of year is appropriate to express thanks to others for a job well-done. I am compelled to thank our classified, governance, and certificated teams for amazing work and for their commitment to PVPUSD. I have decided to highlight one example of excellence from each group, although the list of praise-worthy work is truly endless.
While most people are aware that California is facing the potential for heavy rains this year, it is typically less known what efforts are taking place in the District to prepare our sites. Our classified employees do the jobs that keep our schools running at the highest possible level. An example of that work is occurring with relative anonymity each day as our crews clean rain gutters, drains, and paths of travel for water. Additionally, our classified teams are clearing brush, removing pine needles and debris from hillsides, and trimming trees. They are filling sand bags and creating water diversions. If we combine hard work with a little luck, most people will be unaware of any of these efforts. That is precisely why I am so thankful for their efforts and for classified members of our team who contribute significantly behind the scenes.
Our Board of Education recently advanced a project for a solar power purchase agreement that will generate over $6 million in savings to the District without using any money for the design, installation, or maintenance of the equipment. The complexities of the project required an enormous amount of research, analysis, and careful consideration. Ultimately, our Board of Education made a decision to proceed with the proactive and fiscally-responsible project with a commitment to working with our community partners and neighbors. The work on both ends of the decision is extensive. It would have been much easier not to embrace a project of this magnitude, but they elected to tackle this worthy endeavor. I am thankful for their willingness to engage in meaningful debate and dialogue, evaluate the information critically, and ultimately make a decision that will positively impact our District.
On the day before Thanksgiving, we had eighteen teachers highly engaged in the review of potential online programs for our students at the high school level. Most of these teachers will not have an online class of their own in the near future. Regardless, they are discussing their experiences throughout the investigation portion of our adoption process. They are using their own time, including late into the evenings and weekends, with the sole purpose of serving our students. They are holding discussions that would be impossible without complete dedication and commitment to go beyond a job description with the goal of improving the overall experience for kids. I am thankful for the efforts of our teachers and for the work all of them do that is not seen.
I am thankful for many things in my life. I have an amazing family that gives me perspective, support, and unconditional love (usually). We have talented administrators at the site and District level who attack each day with best intentions and a desire to serve. We have an army of volunteers who give time and resources to support our cause. Our students are incredible and make everything we do worth the effort. This is a special place and you are all appreciated!
The Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District's Maintenance and Operations department has been busy preparing for the predicted heavy rainfall from El Niño climate conditions. Activities to prepare for the anticipated rainfall include:
Inspecting trees damaged by drought
Cleaning rain gutters and drains
Stocking sandbags and sand
Ongoing roof repair, maintenance and replacement
Reviewing emergency supply kits
To report a facilities issue please contact Kris Stafford in the Community Services department: firstname.lastname@example.org (310) 750-1706.
A copy of the El Niño Preparation presentation at the November 18,2015 Board of Education meeting can be viewed below.