Congratulations to our very own Eric Livingston, Union School District’s Teacher of the Year, who was recognized last week at the Santa Clara County Teacher Recognition Celebration. Eric is a devoted teacher at Dartmouth Middle, who reaches his students academically and beyond. He advises, encourages and challenges his students. His influence can be felt outside his classroom walls as a coach and always as an advocate for every student. Thank you, Eric, for your dedication and commitment to your students and the Dartmouth community.
After just six short weeks of school, I am in awe of our students, staff and what they have accomplished. Each and every day, our teachers, our staff and our community have shown dedication in making this a banner school year. The importance of building and fostering a community is a responsibility we all share as advocates for the students we serve. Every year, as I share in the excitement of the start of a new school year, I am so very grateful to hear parents, teachers, staff and administrators come together to celebrate each other. Our school communities know how to kick off a school year. From movie nights, fundraising and charitable events, dances, and ice-cream socials, our families are immediately able to get to know one another and share in building a sense of community, a sense of family, at each site. I am so proud to be a part of a community that cares so deeply about one another and our students.
Within the classroom, our teachers are building relationships with their classes, learning together and becoming partners in education. Teachers embrace that model of lifelong learning through several professional development opportunities that they have attended so far this school year, including several sessions on writing workshop, mathematical practices, social studies and science. Teachers, classified staff and administrators participated in many sessions at our professional development day that included a deep look into equitable practices in the classroom as well as mindfulness strategies, with sessions led by the Mindful Life Project and our own Union School District experts. I’m excited to see the learning continue this year and beyond.
Our classified staff includes so many individuals that make it possible for our children to come to school and learn in a clean, safe and engaged environment. Our classified staff often go unnoticed, working behind the scenes assisting our students and teachers every single day. A huge thank-you to our custodians, our administrative assistants, our instructional aides, our technical and food services staff; every single one of you make it possible for Union School District to run smoothly. Take a moment this month to show kindness to some of the staff members at your site who make a positive impact on our students.
One classified member of our Union School District family was recently highlighted for her many years of service. Janice Hider is an instructional aide at Noddin Elementary and has served students and teachers for over 30 years. Her dedication has clearly made an impact on students, and that impact was echoed by her current and former colleagues in this video: https://youtu.be/JxnNO72c73k
Every year, we take a look at the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) results in English language arts (ELA) and mathematics as one measure of how our students are doing. The results of last spring’s assessment, recently released by the California Department of Education, indicate that 3rd through 8th grade students in Union School District continue to outperform their peers within Santa Clara County and across the state of California. I am proud of our students’ performance as it is a testament to the hard work of our students, educators and classified staff. With our dedicated teachers and staff, as well as our supportive families and community, our students continue to thrive in USD.