Dear Bonsall School Community,

Thank you very much for your patience and understanding as we began another school year.  First week of school traffic, classroom adjustments, last minute hiring of new teachers, and the hot weather present potentially frustrating conditions, but your thoughtful consideration of others creates a collective perseverance that created a very smooth opening of the 2013-14 school year.  You are a wonderful school community that models positive behaviors for our students, leading to a school culture of civility and high performance.

Accountability for student learning is critical to improving schools but it can be a bit confusing to many community members. California’s Growth Academic Performance Index (API) was released last Friday and although we show slight increases in California Standards Test (CST) scores, our API shows a slight decrease of 2 points, from 893 to 891.  The reasons for this paradoxical outcome are complex; CST shows overall growth, but API is accountability for growth in all subgroups such as ethnicities, socioeconomically disadvantaged, English learners and special education. Our slight decrease in API was primarily due to drops in upper grade English learner performance at Bonsall West and Sullivan Middle School.  Some of these students are recent arrivals and some are long-term English learners.  Targeted support for these students will certainly be in this year’s strategic plan.

We still lead San Diego County in the growth of API over the last five years, but as we get toward the top the climb is steeper.  In 2008 we weren’t over 800 yet and now we are trying to get over the 900 mark.  The Federal accountability shown by the Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) called for in the No Child Left Behind Act also shows Bonsall doing relatively well.  As reported in the Union Tribune on August 30, 2013, Bonsall is one of the relatively few districts that weren’t placed in Program Improvement (PI) status.  All this accountability is in flux however as we enter the transitions presented in the last blog post.

Improving communication in our school community is always important. If you haven’t received the wonderful newsletter that the Bonsall Education Foundation sent out recently, it can be found at:

http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/?u=0e8d2e03f25c53b0c0dcde429&id=5dae8b6f1a&e=ee03b867f5

Also, communication updates on our unification were in the Village News and Union Tribune at:

http://thevillagenews.com/story/72987/

http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/aug/29/bonsall-school-district-unification-progress/

The early enrollment figures indicate that our District has surpassed the 2200 mark.  As Bonsall continues to grow, developing and aligning plans that promote smart growth are critical to continuing to pursue our vision/mission of “Academic Excellence and Support for All Students”.   We share a bright future and this school community’s dedication to continuous improvement will make it all the brighter.

Yours,

Justin Cunningham, Ed D

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