September 8, 2000

Sweetwater Summit Focuses on Better Learning

California's First Lady Sharon Davis and the state's Interim Secretary of Education John Mockler helped the Sweetwater District kick off its Sixth Annual Education Summit at Eastlake High on Aug. 25. More than 1,000 parents and community members attended the event which included a personalized video greeting from Governor Gray Davis. The Governor applauded students' improved academic achievement and recognized Sweetwater's innovative partnerships.

California’s First Lady Sharon Davis (left), attending Sweetwater’s Sixth Annual Education Summit, listens as Maria Clark discusses special education issues.

With a theme of Building Better Learning Environments, the district's annual report to the community outlined new academic and school renovation initiatives. San Diego State President Stephen Weber and Ellis Foundation President Mike Ellis joined Superintendent Ed Brand in formally announcing the Compact for Success—a pilot program designed to increase college-going rates for South Bay youth.

Brand pointed to Compact for Success as an example of district connections with local colleges, universities and businesses that enhance the rigor and relevance of school curriculum.

Working together, Sweet-water, SDSU and The Ellis Foundation will help this year's incoming seventh graders set their sights for college early on. Compact scholars and their parents will sign a contract committing them to an intensive, long-term college preparation plan—one that sets high academic benchmarks for every year from seventh grade through graduation from high school.

So that all students can meet the program's rigorous expectations, Sweetwater and SDSU will work together to provide tutoring, mentoring, college visits and financial planning assistance to youth and families. And to help students in greatest financial need, The Ellis Foundation has contributed $500,000 in seed money for a college tuition fund.

"This compact guarantees admission to San Diego State University for every student in the Class of 2006 who is willing to work hard and follow a detailed plan for college success. And to ensure that each and every student stays on track, we'll provide a full range of extra academic support," said Board of Trustees President Greg Sandoval. Referring to the representation from the Governor's Office, he added, "We're excited this innovative idea is being recognized from as far away as Sacramento, and we're honored to have Mrs. Davis and Secretary Mockler here to help us celebrate."

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