Esteemed CVUHSD Community,
Welcome … “Bienvenidos” … to the 2015-16 school year! As a new member of this vibrant learning community, I am excited about the beginning of a new chapter in the Centinela Valley Union High School District. This new chapter is going to be focused on ensuring that we provide each and every one of our students the opportunity to not only graduate, but to receive a world-class education that effectively prepares him or her for college, career and life. It is a chapter that includes you as one of the key stakeholders.
As a high school district, our basic mission is very clear: 100% of our students must graduate with a high school diploma. Earning a diploma is crucial for success in our 21st Century global economy, and every employee of this district has been hired in support of that goal. We know our parents and families want what’s best for their students, and they’ve told me countless times how important it is for their student to graduate. Since we all have the same goal, it is my desire to join forces with you and become allies in the success of all students. As partners, we have a much greater likelihood of accomplishing our goals than we would if we were working separately.
However, the aspirations we hold for our students go far beyond a high school diploma. The true measure of our success will take place after the diploma has been earned and our students face both the challenges and opportunities in the real world as adults. To succeed, we must first provide students with as many options for furthering their education after high school as possible. Having worked with students at every grade level over the years, I can’t count the number of times I’ve asked students, “Who’s going to college?” Undoubtedly, every hand would go up and every student would pledge to do so. Students, and their families, are often surprised when they discover that most colleges and universities have a much higher standard for admission than simply a diploma. Students must complete the UC/CSU “a-g” requirements, score high marks on college entrance exams, participate in numerous clubs and extra-curricular activities as well as submit lengthy applications before unwavering deadlines. At each step of the process, our staff is ready to assist students and their families with much needed guidance and support.
Today, high schools must also prepare their students for careers. While seemingly obvious, the purpose of getting a diploma and going to college is, in fact, to get a good job afterwards. Our students must have the knowledge and skills necessary to earn a living. We are a Linked Learning district which means we are committed to connecting the learning that takes place in the classroom with the needs of business and industry in our global economy. Our schools offer numerous opportunities for work-based learning through our academies, field trips, guest speakers, and internships. We aim to prepare our students to enter the competitive job market and land a job that meets both their social-emotional and financial needs.
Finally, we want our students to be prepared for life. We want them to be good people that care about others. We want them to be able to make good decisions that make their life and this world better. We want them to value diversity, respect the views of others even when they are different from their own, and work collaboratively with individuals from multiple cultural backgrounds. We want them to be informed citizens as well as wise leaders in our community, our state, and our nation. We want them to lead fulfilling lives and to have greater opportunities and accomplishments than any previous generation.
Centinela Valley has many lofty aspirations, and we have committed ourselves to ensuring all of our students are ready for college, career and life. We know that each student is unique and will face a number of barriers to success along the way. We also know that countless students have overcome similar challenges in the past. Let’s work together to make each student’s dream come true in 2015-16, and transform Centinela Valley into a model 21st Century urban district that is a leader in student-centered education.
Your partner in education,
Gregory O’Brien, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools