A Message from:
Dr. Deborah A. Flores, PhD,
Gilroy Unified School District Superintendent
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
Welcome to the 2013-14 school year. I consider it a privilege to be part of the GUSD team for a seventh year as superintendent of schools. We are making great strides in many areas as a school district. There is a strong commitment at all levels of the organization (from over 1,000 employees) to increasing the rigor and quality of our programs and courses so that students can achieve at the highest possible levels.
Recent state test results indicate that we are moving in the right direction as a district with consistent district-wide gains in proficiency over the last six years. These gains are reflected in the positive growth that our schools have made on the State’s measure of student achievement, the Academic Performance Index or API. The state’s goal for all schools is an API of 800. In the spring of 2012, the District’s API was 804 and seven GUSD schools exceeded the state’s goal of 800; Brownell Middle School–815, Christopher High School-800, Gilroy Early College Academy(GECA)-931, Las Animas Elementary-863, Luigi Aprea Elementary-888, Rod Kelley Elementary – 841, and Solorsano Middle School-855. Additionally, five elementary schools were very close to 800 and are expected to exceed it this year – Antonio Del Buono–786, Eliot-782, El Roble – 797, Glen View–787, Rucker–780.
The four-year cohort graduation and drop out data collected for state and federal accountability using the state’s California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) was first used as a baseline in 2011. The GUSD graduation rate for 2012 was 85.0% (compared to county - 81.1%, and state – 78.5%). The GUSD comparable cohort dropout rate for 2011-12 was 9.4% (County and state rate was 13.2%)
These academic improvements are the direct result of a number of initiatives in the district. These include; a focus on standards based instruction with frequent assessments to monitor student progress and mastery of content and standards; professional development with an emphasis on language arts, mathematics and writing; strong teacher collaboration across schools; specialized instruction for English learners at all levels; an infusion of technology assisted instruction aligned to standards in our K-5th grade classrooms following the purchase of MOBI (Mobile Interactive Whiteboard) and LCD projectors for each teacher; and intervention programs before, during, and after school as well as on some Saturdays.
There have been a number of recognitions and awards bestowed on GUSD schools. Four of our schools have been selected for the highest recognition by the State called the California Distinguished Schools Award –GECA, Gilroy High School, Las Animas Elementary, and Solorsano Middle School (twice). Four schools were awarded the SJ 2020 Vision Award in 2012 by the Santa Clara County Office of Education – Luigi Aprea, Brownell Middle School, Solorsano Middle School and South Valley Middle School. All of our elementary schools received the prestigious Santa Clara County School Board’s Association Hoffman Award in the 2012 school year.
The school district’s enrollment has steadily grown in recent years despite the recession and poor economic conditions. We are expecting over 100 new students this school year with a total enrollment of over 11,300 students. In November 2008, the voters of Gilroy approved Measure P which provided funds for keeping pace with the steady growth by adding classrooms and new schools, Las Animas Elementary and Christopher High School are the newest. Measure P also funded major renovation projects which are underway (or are in the design phase) at the following schools – Brownell Middle School, Gilroy High School, Glenview Elementary, GECA, South Valley Middle School, Rod Kelley Elementary, and Rucker Elementary.
In closing, I look forward to meeting you as I visit school sites and attend events during the school year.
Have a great school year!