School’s (Not) Out For Summer in Vista
Summer Programs Keep Schools, Staff Busy. From Learning to Facilities to Professional Development, VUSD Stays Busy Year Round
VISTA, CA. July 2017 – Summer is one of the busiest times of the year for local school districts, and that’s no exception in the Vista Unified School District. From summer learning programs to teacher training, facilities upgrades to specialized camps, Vista USD sees its mission of becoming the model of educational excellence and innovation at work year round.
Busy Schools In The Summer
A recent day at Maryland Elementary saw classes held in art, music, dance and health, while tutors helped in the library, fitness activities happened on the grounds, and a course on the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” designed for children was held as part of the school’s “Leader In Me” curriculum.
Photos by Dave Palmer
“Our Family Literacy program is designed to help children be successful learners who complete high school, go to college, and get good jobs,” says Maryland Elementary Principal Carol LaBreche McKane. “It is a partnership with many volunteer community members as well as middle and high school students who mentor, read, and interact with the students daily.”
A violin class that involved students from across the district was one example of how schools keep entire communities active in learning all year round. Says LaBreche-McKane, “We have Kim Stephens-Doll and her orchestra, which includes students from all over the district. She is creating a mentor program with older, experienced students teaching younger students.”
Other schools, like Breeze Hill Elementary, Monte Vista Elementary, and Temple Heights Elementary, join Maryland in holding Summer Support courses through July 14th, with learning opportunities including small-group reading instruction, writing development, and hands-on STEM activities (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
And then there are the facilities projects. Vista USD has $3.6 million in budgeted facilities projects across the district, ranging from paving projects to permanent shade structures, repaired and upgraded restroom facilities to new playground surfaces.
Says Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Donna Caperton, “The District is committed to maintaining school facilities and creating clean, safe, secure environments for students and staff members.”
Planning for the new school year continues as well, as administrators prepare for their annual 2-day “Leadership Advance” sessions, where district and school site leaders gather to look at priorities for the coming year. For the coming 2017-18 school year, continued emphasis on student-centered learning environments leads the way.
Says Interim Superintendent Dr. Matt Doyle, “as we continue our moonshot goal of expanding Personal Learning to all students, we are creating the conditions for students to become stewards of their own learning with teachers working alongside them as activators of knowledge and skills. Unleashing students’ strengths as learners continues to drive what we do.”
Each of VUSD’s schools is now engaged in a shift to develop Personal Learning environments, with schools being named PL Challenge sites. Teachers and staff receive training and support in the methodology, and contribute their own insights to the process.
The path to excellence and innovation continues to be traveled throughout the year, and Vista’s school sites, staff and students continue to walk the path all summer long.
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