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Dear Bonsall Community,

Bonsall schools continue to improve and turn challenge into opportunity!   We are paying close attention to our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that holds California schools accountable for focused improvement of learning for economically disadvantaged students and English learners.  We just received notice that we have met all our Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs)! These are the accountability measures for progress of English learners.  You might have heard that the Federal Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA) is replacing the old No Child Left Behind program (NCLB).  It will phase in over the next year, but it is very interesting that the new Federal funding is following California’s example of combining efforts for economically disadvantaged students and English learners while measuring their growth instead of their status of learning.

In the last couple of weeks we had more challenging news: Sullivan Middle School Principal, Dr. Tim Heck accepted a position with the Perris Union High School District.  We wish Dr. Heck luck in his new endeavor!  The opportunity to select a new principal was very difficult.  From a few dozen applicants, the interview pool of five was outstanding and very difficult to select finalists from.  However, we now have the opportunity to welcome a wonderful new principal to Sullivan Middle School!  This next Tuesday, February 16, 2016, at 4 pm in the library there will be a Meet and Greet for the new principal.  He will not be able to start right away, because of loose ends to tie up with his current employer over the next couple of weeks.  Transitions always present some risk to systems like schools, so until he is able to join us, Director of Student Services, Lori Cummins, will assist as Interim Principal.

During this time, to continue a smooth and positive change of principals, we will have a Leadership Transition Workshop.  This process will be similar to what happens in the Navy when a new ship captain comes on board.  Our school community will have a chance to come together and agree on what this new leader needs to know about SMS to minimize the learning curve.  Selected students, staff, and representative parents will attend this workshop, providing a broader view of SMS culture and priorities.  Later this year, the new principal will also survey all SMS parents and students to get to know the school community even better.

In these times of accelerated change, communication is always a challenge requiring improvement.  Craig Leach, BUSD’s new Learning and Technology Coordinator, is providing the opportunity to add video communication to our bonsallusd.com website to keep our school community aware of the events we have to support our purpose of “Academic excellence, and support for all students to become highly competitive in their chosen career path and/or college.”


Justin Cunningham