Dear Bonsall School Community,

Summer is often a great time for relaxing reflection.  School promotions and transitions offer a look at what’s working, what needs improvement, and what we must do to follow our District philosophy of continuous improvement.  We are continuing to improve teaching and learning and add great talent, all in the pursuit of our purpose of “Academic excellence and support for all students to become highly effective in their chosen career path and/or college.”  Reflecting on last year also brings a delightful understanding of how next year will be even better.

Addressing the students at the eighth grade promotion ceremony, I shared with them the need to invest in the future by focusing on improving how we learn and think, while maintaining a future orientation; technology will continually require learning new ways of doing things, but it will also create problems that the world has never seen.  Solving those problems will require deep thinking.  Future orientation will allow us to adapt to an increasing pace of change in our world by anticipating where things are going instead of just reacting to where they are.  I urged them to pursue wisdom and learn about how their brain works.  The students that attend Bonsall High School will get support for such investments in their future; but, not everyone in that class will attend Bonsall High so we wanted to send them off with our best advice.

In our pursuit of improving teaching and learning, we are mining the data from last year’s assessments and instruction.  We met our Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) goals, but we believe we can do better.  Our deep review of the data leads us to switch from MAP testing, Compass Odyssey, Study Island and a few other applications, to iReady, which spends less time on computer-adaptive testing, and is better aligned to the new California Standards and assessments like CAASPP.  It also offers some printed instructional materials.

We are thrilled that the new Principal of Bonsall Elementary is Karla Groth, who comes to us from the San Diego County Office of Education where she rose from being a Principal in Residence to the Executive Director of Assessment and Accountability.  Dr. Groth longed to get back to the excitement of improving learning at a school site, and we are once again blessed by timing.  She began to look for change right when we needed to replace Diane Lillibridge, who has since moved back to South Carolina.  Diane will be missed, but we are once again extremely fortunate to have someone like Dr. Groth join the Bonsall School community.

This summer Bonsall Elementary School began our new, innovative summer school program developed in collaboration with our Pathways Academy Charter School’s Excel Academy.  Over ninety students are enjoying enrichment programs while improving their academic studies through an independent study program.  Innovation and partnerships are continuing to bring practical solutions to old problems like no longer being able to fund summer school as in years’past.

Bonsall High School is planning the grand opening of their new building August 23, 2016 at 5:30 pm.  BHS will move into the two-story on the Sullivan Middle School campus until the permanent campus is built on the Gird Road property.  Great things are happening at Bonsall High!  Now that we are adding the junior year, the internships are increasing, and Palomar College will be offering classes in our new building.  Our partnership with Hewlitt Packard is also bringing great benefits to our high school students, as shown in the video on the link below

Investing in this future of the Bonsall School Community will not only develop students who become contributing members to our community, but it will raise property values as well.

Taking some summertime to say “Adios” to last year and revving up for the new school year helps me reflect on how grateful I am to be serving the Bonsall school community; exciting things are happening here and it is wonderful to be part of it!


Justin Cunningham