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Blueprint for Student Achievement

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I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your continued support, enthusiasm and optimism in regard to “SUSD’s transformation.” As a district and as a community, and with the unwavering support of our Governing Board, the Sunnyside Unified School District is in the throes of good, sound, research-based change. You can almost feel it in the air, see it in the schools, classrooms and throughout the central office. Perhaps even more important is that we are expecting this change to have results and that’s even more exciting and encouraging. To maintain the momentum and more importantly our focus, I want to share with you what I am calling “SUSD’s Blueprint for Student Achievement.” The Blueprint was developed by multiple stakeholders. The primary stakeholders, of course, were the Governing Board members who in various meetings with me have expressed their expectations upon selecting me as superintendent – to improve the graduation rate, decrease the dropout rate, address the challenges of corrective action, and respect and appreciate the importance of relationships in the process. To that end, with the help and leadership of some outstanding people, Sunnyside has launched a number of districtwide initiatives to meet the challenges and expectations that the Governing Board identified.

Good to great and Failure is not an OptionIn addition to the initiatives, I have also referenced three books to help all of us form the conversations around the areas needing change. They are “Shaping Corporate Culture,” “Good to Great” and “Failure is Not an Option.” All three books have been instrumental in our district’s journey toward transformation.

Shaping Corporate Culture is helping us understand the importance of prioritizing and focusing on what is important and what we will call “organizational efficiency.”

Good to Great is helping us as a district understand the importance of “facing the brutal facts,” as Jim Collins would say, and describes the steps necessary to move a good system to a great one.

Failure is Not an Option, if we use it correctly, could help our district the most by helping us develop a greater conviction, understanding and moral purpose of not accepting failure as an option for any child in this district – a challenge that is far greater than we sometimes give credit to, but one I feel is clearly attainable.

What is included in this document is what I’ll call a comprehensive overview of SUSD’s initiatives for student achievement and descriptions of areas needed for our transformation to be successful. For your part, it is imperative for you to understand the scope of the change as well as the depth and complexity of our challenges. I am optimistic that you will become even more supportive, enthusiastic and committed to this transformation process.

This document will serve many purposes; first and foremost it will become a working document for change and identifying our 5%. Secondly, it will help everyone better understand what we are attempting to do, and what strategies and expectations are anticipated. Lastly, it should help you become better informed as to what kind of change is occurring. Additional, more in-depth information on each initiative will be available on our website. Information will include a PowerPoint, specific SMART goals for the initiative, related information and links, and contact information for the lead person for each initiative to address any questions you may have.

To achieve the results that are anticipated throughout this journey, we need not only your support but more importantly your ownership! To achieve that, we will continue to be informative and transparent, and will provide opportunities for you to dialogue around these initiatives throughout our journey.

Manuel L. Isquierdo, Ed.D.
Proud Superintendent
Sunnyside Unified School District

Blueprint - July 2008.pdf7.43 MB
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