Febuary 16, 2007

Commentary:

Sweetwater School District Committed to Excellence

Community invited to help guide district

By Pearl Quiñones
Board Member
Sweetwater Union High School District

A commitment to excellence given the enormous responsibility of educating our youth is the Sweetwater Union High School District’s primary obligation to the public that it serves.

As an elected member of the Sweet-water School Board my colleagues and I continuously seek ways and means to improve how we function, educate our students and serve the entire community as the leading educational institution in the South bay.

Given this commitment to constantly seek out ways to advance the education of our students the Sweetwater Union High School District has recently begun an inclusive process to strategically plan how we can improve on educating our students and serving the entire community.

The Sweetwater strategic plan is a thoughtful and comprehensive plan to guide our work in making Sweetwater an exemplary school district. Community representatives from a wide array of backgrounds, occupations and industries spent three days last month creating core beliefs, objectives and strategies.

Serving in this capacity are Judith Castillo, a life long resident of National City and parent of three, and Yolanda Hernandez, a life long resident of San Ysidro, businesswoman/owner and three term San Ysidro School Board Member. Each of them spent three full days with our strategic planner, Bill Cook, from the Cambridge Group (which has over 25 years of strategic planning with school systems.) Together they created the strategic plan and strategies.

The strategic plan is setting the direction of the district for the next five years. There are 10 strategies that address everything from curriculum to parent involvement to student support services. When implemented, these strategies will help students and teachers reach their fullest potential so that our graduates will be able to go on to college and/or the career of their choice on a pathway to fulfill their promise.

However, much is left to be done and the community’s assistance and valuable guidance is still needed. Sweetwater is requesting that 20-30 members of the community serve on each of the 10 strategy action committees. These committees will contribute greatly in making our schools all that they can be. These committee members will spend about 40 hours over the next four months building action plans to implement each strategy.

If you are interested in serving our students and their education here in the South bay, please call Maria Teresa Gonzalez @ 619-585-4485 before Feb. 20th.

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