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August 28, 2015
Esteemed Vista Unified Families--
Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! It is my pleasure to provide you with updates and
information regarding exciting progress in our district. Our efforts are guided by our
“Framework for the Future” which includes our vision, mission, and values.
Vision: Vista Unified will be the model of educational excellence and innovation.
Mission: The purpose of the Vista Unified School District is to inspire every student to
persevere as a critical thinker who collaborates to solve real-world problems.
RESPECT: treating all with dignity
TRUST: having confidence that every decision focuses on the best interests of all students
COLLABORATION: working in a collective partnership with clear two-way dialogue that
builds relationships among home, school and the community
We have worked collaboratively with our students, families, staff, and community to develop a
three-year strategic plan that we call the “Blueprint for Educational Excellence and Innovation.”
The Blueprint consists of eight strategies including personalized learning.
Last year was the first year that we implemented the Blueprint and the results were very
encouraging. For example, our focus on early literacy achievement resulted in improvements in
reading achievement for kindergarten and first grade students. We also a saw significant
increase in the number of English Learners who reclassified due to achievement in reading,
writing, and listening/speaking. In addition, there were significant improvements in the number
of Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses taken by high school
students (In 2011-12 a total of 1,168 AP and IB courses were completed and by 2014-15 that
number jumped to 1,997). These high levels of achievement were validated when our graduates
earned over $5 million in scholarships.
The first strategy of our Blueprint, which serves as the foundation for our efforts, is to develop
family and community partnerships. This has been a critical component of our success to date
and we have ambitious plans to expand and improve our partnerships. For example, last year we
hired ten community liaisons to promote family engagement and this year we have expanded to a
total of 18 of these key staff positions. This group will launch a family engagement networkthis
year and we encourage participation from all in this new opportunity. Please watch this video
about the efforts of our team from Rancho Minerva Middle School to see an example of our efforts
to build partnerships with families.
Rancho Minerva Middle School: Parents as Partners Video
In addition to partnering with families, last year we conducted eight service learningprojects in
collaboration with business and community partners. This year we plan to expand to thirty of
these projects, which cultivate partnerships and also extend academic learning into the
community. This is an example of orienting our learning to solving real-world problems as
indicated in our mission statement.
Our efforts to develop partnerships for the benefit of our students are also evident in the areas of
college and career readiness. We have a guaranteed admissions agreement with California State
University San Marcos effective with the class of 2017 that is called the WAVE Pact. Every
Wednesday we encourage students and staff to wear college attire to promote college awareness.
Please also check out our Career Technical Education websitewhich includes information about
our award winning programs.
Each of these collaborative efforts has resulted in the formation of the Vista Partnership for
Children. With support from the United Way of San Diego, the Partnership is focused on
improving kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade literacy, 8th grade mathematics, high school
graduation rates, and the percentage of students ready for college and career. Please click here
for the Baseline Report that provides a starting point for this important work.
We encourage all families to stay connected. Please download the VUSD Mobile Appand follow
me on twitterfor the latest news and updates. I also invite you to attend the annual PTA Dessert
with the Superintendent which is scheduled for 7pm on October 1st at City Hall.
Thanks for your partnership to help us make progress as we strive to be the model of educational
excellence and innovation. Working together, we are making a difference in the lives of our
children. As a result of the combined impact of families, community partners, and our dedicated
staff, we are seeing the benefits for our students. This is just the beginning and I am very
optimistic about the bright future for our children.
Devin Vodicka, EdD
Superintendent of Schools