Monday Message From Dr. Mary Sieu



March 9, 2020


Superintendent’s Message - Dr. Mary Sieu

(Follow me on Twitter: @abcsupt)


It was a wonderful visit to Carmenita MS during their FLEX Program on February 20. The FLEX Program is comprised of brief sessions that students can self-select to attend. Juarez ES held their 7th Annual Community Read Aloud on February 28. I was fortunate to read in Ms. Ibarra’s first grade classroom Dr. Seuss’s “Oh the Places You’ll Go”. On March 2, I participated in Elliott ES’s Flag Raising Ceremony for being a 2020 California Distinguished School. It was wonderful to celebrate with the entire school! Immediately following that, I joined in Aloha ES’s “Read Across America” by reading in Ms. Ortiz’s great first grade classroom Dr. Seuss’s “The Foot Book”.


Many of us were at the Artesia HS’s CIF Girls Basketball Finals Championship game for the Southern Section on Saturday, February 29 at Godinez HS in Santa Ana. We all celebrated their win against San Jacinto HS.


On March 3, Ray Gaer, Rebecca Michele-Macias and I were invited to present at the California Labor Management Initiative-Southern California Regional Convening held at the SoCal Gas Co. in Downey. Our presentation was well received by the multiple districts and participants at the event.


Last week, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Department of Public Health declared a local and public health emergency in response to increased spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country and the additional cases in Los Angeles County. The County will continue to mobilize county resources, accelerate emergency planning, coordinate with agencies across the county, state, and federal partners. We will continue to regularly communicate with our staffs, students, and their families regarding our efforts in the District.


News About Our Schools and/or District


Academic Achievement for All:


California Technical Education Incentive Grant (CTEIG) - On March 3, Dr. Crechena Wise and Sasha Leonardo received notification from the California Department of Education (CDE) that ABCUSD will receive $614,840 in CTEIG funding for the 2020-21 school year to provide access for CTE student leadership opportunities (CTSO's), early college credit opportunities through articulation and dual enrollment agreements, student pre-apprenticeships, internships, and other Work Based Learning (WBL) opportunities. Additionally, this funding will be utilized to update our CTE equipment and give students more opportunities to attain an industry-recognized certification and/or credentials that qualify them for entry level employment. This grant comes with a two-dollar requirement from ABCUSD for every dollar received from the CDE.


Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Camp - Two spots were secured for two Artesia HS students to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) Camp in Idyllwild Pines. Lakewood Rotary will cover all-expenses for AHS students to attend camp from April 24-26, 2020. Students learning experiences will include topics on: communication skills in effective leadership, ethics of positive leadership, building self-confidence and self-esteem, problem -solving and conflict-management, and global citizenship. More information about RYLA is available at  RYLA5320.ORG.


Professional Growth for Employees:


English Learner (EL) Roadmap - The EL Roadmap Committee: Artesia Principal Sergio Garcia, Carmenita Principal Robert Castillo, Hawaiian Principal Mayra Lozano, Furgeson Principal Alex Gutierrez, and District Staff, met last week to discuss plans for using the EL Roadmap toolkit to establish a clear direction for a K-12th grade pathway for English learners to acquire English proficiency. Dr. Mayfield II led the meeting with an examination of school data, specifically the performance data of English learners who are Spanish speaking. The Team also reviewed the materials provided from the EL Roadmap training they attended in preparation for their work as committee members. An EL Roadmap Rubric was used to assess current district-wide and school practices to determine focus areas to recommend for the 2020-23 Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP). The new LCAP template includes three types of goals: focus, broad, and maintenance. Focus goals are intended for student groups that are not performing at standards met and require additional support in order to achieve English proficiency. The team agreed to focus on three principles: Leadership, Instructional Practices/Programs, and Structures/Systems. Dr. Mayfield II will meet with principals and district staff to write LCAP focus goals for EL Spanish speakers and broad district-wide goals for all English learners.


Family and Community Engagement:


Read Across America Schools from across the District are celebrating Read Across America, recognizing the contributions of Dr. Seuss. The program was founded by the National Education Association and is held near the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to millions of young readers as Dr. Seuss. Volunteers from across the ABC community can be found reading their favorite book to elementary students.


System to Support Student Success:


Civic Learning Award of Merit - On March 5, Wittmann ES and Carmenita MS, were again awarded the Civic Learning Award of Merit. Only 16 schools in Los Angeles County received the award and a total of 66 schools in California. Wittmann ES focus for Civic Learning this year was to engage all students in different real world civic and legal opportunities. The program involved a student "town hall" forum during Constitution Day, where students could speak to civic leaders and legal experts about upholding the U.S. Constitution. Students held a mock impeachment trial, students functioned as impeachment managers and the President’s defense.  Students also visited Judge Laura Walton's courtroom during a criminal trial, where they got to speak with Judge Walton, attorneys, and other court officers. 


Student Government Day Students from Fedde Academy assumed the role of elected and appointed officials for the City of Hawaiian Gardens at this year’s Student Government Day on February 25. The students faced challenges and weighed issues, learning about how local government works. Many thanks to the City of Hawaiian Gardens for hosting this enlightening and educational event.


Highlights from the March 4, 2020, Board of Education Meeting:

  • The Board recognized Elliott ES and Carver ES for being recognized as California Distinguished Schools.
  • The Board approved six candidates to be submitted as delegates to the California School Boards Association.
  • The Board approved a contract with EdTechTeam to provide continuing education for teachers.
  • The Board approved a contract with Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment to administer assessments for the National External Diploma Program at ABC Adult School.
  • The Board accepted the Second Interim Report for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.