December is the start of the holiday season for many in our community, and a time when I find myself reflecting on my own good fortune. It is the most rewarding of things to be an educator, to watch skills take root and confidence build, and to know that inside the four walls of a school, the potential for the greatest innovations of the future is developing.
It is exciting to be doing this work in the midst of the inspiring and culturally diverse Silicon Valley; it is particularly rewarding to be doing it in a school district that is able to provide for the specific requirements of each and every student, due in part to widespread community support and beneficial partnerships with universities, businesses, and nonprofit agencies. It’s the difference between knowing what a child needs for learning success and actually being able to deliver it. I feel very fortunate indeed!
It is also gratifying to see that our district is getting stronger all the time. Foundational to all of our schools is an emphasis on language arts and mathematics mastery, and opportunities for students to access accelerated learning programs and personalized interventions as needed. In addition, while many public and private schools struggle to provide the basics, every Sunnyvale School District student benefits from music, dance, art, living history, hands-on science, project-based learning, and state-of-the-art tools and instructional technology.
But there is more to come in 2015! Our plans for offering four schools of choice within district boundaries are coming to fruition. Starting in February, we will be registering kindergarteners in our dual-language immersion program at San Miguel School, and enrolling children in grades K through 5 in Fairwood School’s highly successful parent participation program. Vargas School’s emerging science magnet is taking shape, and we soon will be accepting applications for Columbia Middle School’s University Partnership Program, a unique instructional partnership the school has formed with Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education. Please look for more details to come about these special program options in the coming months.
It is our job to inspire, challenge and support our young students, and it is a responsibility that all of us in Sunnyvale School District takes to heart. We are honored to have your trust and are wholeheartedly committed to doing right by your children. We are grateful for the opportunity.
I wish you and your family the warmest of winter holidays, and great health and prosperity in the coming year.
Benjamin H. Picard
Superintendent of Schools