Monday Message From Dr. Mary Sieu




Superintendent’s Message - Dr. Mary Sieu

(Follow me on Twitter: @abcsupt)




November 26, 2018


Welcome back everyone! I hope all of you had a wonderful and memorable Fall Break!


First, I’d like to thank the entire ABC school community for the unified effort in improving our school facilities through Measure BB.  Although the election results will be certified on Dec. 7regarding our passage with 58% supporting it, I want to express my heartfelt thanks for the many months of work leading up to the Nov. 6 election.  This includes staff who served on the Ad Hoc Facilities Board Advisory Committee for over 18 months as well as those who contributed at the school sites and District Office.  The development of the Facilities Master Plan will be the basis of our upcoming work beginning in 2019.  I know that the school improvement needs from the Facilities Master Plan will advance issues of importance to our community.  A huge thank you to all the employees who supported this effort leading to the election.


An important feature that will be required of the District will be the development of a Citizens’ Oversight Committee to ensure that all bond funds are expended in accordance with the legal requirements set by Education Code and the California Constitution.  The Citizens’ Oversight Committee shall consist of at least seven members and may be larger to serve a term of two years, without compensation, and for no more than three consecutive terms.  The Committee shall not include any employee or official of the school district or any vendor, contractor, or consultant of the school district.


The Committee must include all of the following: a) One member who is active in a business organization representing the business community located within the school district; b) One member active in a senior citizens organization; c) One member active in a bona fide taxpayer association; d) One member shall be the parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district; and e) One member shall be both a parent or guardian of a child enrolled in the district and active in a parent teacher organization such as the PTA.


The purpose of the Committee shall be to inform the public at least annually concerning the expenditure of the bond proceeds.  In addition, as required by State law, there will be two separate audits by an independent auditor.  There will be a Financial Audit that will be on the proceeds from the sale of the bonds as well as a Performance Audit that will be to ensure that the bond funds have been expended only on the specific projects listed in the bond measure.


We have an exciting year ahead of us and remain confident that our pursuits will help to improve our District!


News About Our Schools and/or District


Gahr HS Marching Gladiators – On November 10, 2018, the Gahr HS Marching Gladiators competed in the California State Band Championship Semi-Finals and won 1st Place in Division 5A with a score of 92.850! Gahr HS moved on to compete in the California State Band Championship Finals on Saturday, November 17th at Huntington Beach High School. They won 1st Place again for their 6th consecutive year! Congratulations Gahr HS Marching Gladiators!


Artesia HS Pioneers Football Team – Congratulations to Artesia HS Pioneers Football Team who went to the CIF Championship Game on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018.  Artesia HS Coach Don Olmstead led the Pioneers to a 605 League title and a spot in the CIF D12 Championship Game.  They played Linfield HS and won the CIF Final Runner Up.  Congratulations Artesia HS!


2018-19 Prep Academy for SAT/ACT (PASA) - ABCUSD’s Prep Academy for SAT/ACT (PASA) is now in its 3rd year of implementation! Held on four of our high school campuses (Artesia, Cerritos, Gahr, and Whitney High Schools), PASA supports 11th grade students, specifically English learners, low socio-economically disadvantaged, homeless, and foster youth. This program is offered at no cost to these students. ABCUSD has partnered with Kaplan Test Prep (Cerritos, Gahr, and Whitney High Schools) and Tutor Zone (Artesia High School) to provide our students with world-class curriculum that will that will help better prepare these students for college required entrance exams. Classes are set to begin January, 2019!


AVID Foundations Path Training, K-2 - Jean Palacios, ABC AVID staff developer, and second grade teacher at Palms ES, trained (14) K-2 teachers on the Foundations K-2 strand, which is required by every AVID elementary teacher.  Teachers from Furgeson, Melbourne, Palms, and Willow Elementary Schools, engaged in energetic collaboration as WICOR (writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading) instructional strategies were presented and practiced.  This training was held on November 1st and 2nd at Palms Elementary School.  Some of the words teachers used at the end of the two-day training to describe their feelings were: rejuvenated, empowered, competent, confident, and tired but inspired.  It was great to have this training within our District.


Career Technical Education Newsletter – Please find attached the first issue of the Career Technical Education Newsletter provided by Dr. Rhonda Buss, Director of Secondary Schools.


Whitney HS MUN - The Whitney HS Model United Nations competed at the UC San Diego Model UN conference on Saturday, October 27 returning home with multiple awards and recognition for their students, including the "Outstanding Delegation" Award for a large school.  This was Whitney HS’s first outing of the year and they were very happy to have made such a good start.  Highlights of the upcoming year include the 17th Annual Conference that Whitney HS is hosting on January 26 for schools all over Southern California, and competitions in Chicago and New York in March of 2019.


Professional Development - On Friday, November 16, 2018, from 8:00 AM - Noon, Human Resources provided an Equity Workshop for our Transportation Department in the Board Room. The Equity Workshop was designed especially for Classified Employees. Ms. Rhoda Linton from Generation Ready was the presenter for the workshop. The workshop was engaging and interactive with a focus on looking beyond the faces of students, parents, and co-workers to provide ongoing support and quality service.