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Superintendent’s Message: January 2015

Dear Sunnyvale School District Family,

I hope you enjoyed your holiday in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the values he embodied: courage, equality, compassion, dignity, nonviolence, service, and unconditional love.

As you get back to your busy schedules, I wanted to remind you that there is still time to learn about our new Programs of Choice:

  • Fairwood Explorer Parent Participation Program: Fairwood’s curriculum is organized in a way that integrates parent involvement and puts parents in direct contact with students. Students enjoy more small-group instruction and personal attention, and benefit from the diverse skills and contributions of Fairwood’s parent community.
  • San Miguel Juntos Spanish-English Dual Immersion Program (launching in the fall for incoming Kindergarteners). In Juntos, students will learn Spanish and English at the same time, achieving bilingualism and biliteracy. Regardless of what language you speak at home, this program will develop your child’s ability to speak and read academic Spanish and English, as well as strengthening all academic areas. For more information on Juntos, please see the recent article in the San Jose Mercury News
  • Vargas Elementary School Success Through Science: At Vargas, learning is inquiry-based, and even language arts and social studies are taught in a way that incorporates science. All field trips and assemblies have science themes, and students in all grades regularly utilize the school’s new science lab.
  • Columbia Middle School’s University Partnership Program (UPP): students in UPP get curriculum and techniques that have been vetted and recommended by Stanford’s School of Education, and are taught by Stanford teacher candidates alongside Sunnyvale School District teachers right at Columbia. Students generally enjoy smaller student-to-teacher ratios, greater technology integration, and a focus on inquiry-based learning.

Information sessions or tours for each of the programs are still coming up; visit dates and times!

Please note that you must go through open enrollment, February 2-13, to participate in UPP or a Program of Choice outside your neighborhood school.

Until next time, I leave you with this quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.”


Benjamin H. Picard, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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