Monday Message From Dr. Mary Sieu



January 13, 2020


Superintendent’s Message - Dr. Mary Sieu

(Follow me on Twitter: @abcsupt)



It’s official! As Elliott ES students announced on Tuesday night at the Board Meeting, the California Department of Education has selected two of our elementary schools, Carver Elementary School and Elliott Elementary School as 2020 California Distinguished Schools.


We’re very proud of our exemplary schools that were among 323 statewide being honored for having outstanding education programs and practices, closing the achievement gap, and achieving exceptional student performance. We are all very grateful to our teachers, administrators, schools’ staff, and families whose hard work and dedication have created these outstanding learning environments.


They will be honored at an Awards Ceremony held by the California Department of Education on Monday, February 10, 2020, at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, CA. The California School Recognition Program Awards Ceremony will not only include Carver ES and Elliott ES but also Gonsalves ES and Leal ES. They are recognizing both the California Distinguished Schools and National Blue Ribbon Schools.


Again, congratulations Carver ES, Elliott ES as well as Gonsalves ES and Leal ES for their accomplishments this year!


News About Our Schools and/or District


Academic Achievement for All:


Whitney HS and Cerritos HS Recognized by Newsweek – Both Whitney and Cerritos High Schools were recognized by Newsweek as two of the top 500 STEM High Schools in the nation. Whitney HS was ranked 81st with Cerritos HS ranked at 489th. Congratulations to the students, families, teachers, and staff who continue to focus on STEM education. The article can be found here:


Professional Growth for Employees:


History Performance Tasks - History teachers throughout the District have completed a two-day training centered on explanatory performance tasks. During the first quarter, sites unpacked the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Writing and examined CAASPP and Advanced Placement scoring rubrics. They then reviewed examples of explanatory performance tasks and developed common performance tasks for each grade level at their sites, which were administered prior to the second day of training. During the second quarter, sites met again to analyze the results of the performance tasks, identify trends, and discuss strategies to further develop students’ writing abilities. A special thank you to the English teachers who took part in the discussions, which provided a valuable opportunity to foster greater collaboration between the two departments.


Secondary Curriculum and Instruction - Congratulations to our Math District Coach, Lena Bradshaw! She has been appointed by the State Board of Education (SBE) to serve as a member of the Mathematics Curriculum Framework and Evaluation Criteria Committee (Mathematics CFCC). The Mathematics CFCC will play a key role in developing the 2021 Mathematics Framework for Public Schools, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (Mathematics Framework) that will serve as guidance to local educational agencies concerning mathematics instruction. Ultimately, the draft will be submitted to the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC), which will review and edit the document before it is submitted to the SBE. The SBE will take final action on the Mathematics Framework in May or July 2021. Lena’s role in this committee will benefit ABC Unified as a valuable resource and guide as we begin to look towards the future of mathematics and how we can best serve our students in ABC Unified.


System to Support Student Success:


The Great Kindness Challenge – Below you will find the links regarding The Great Kindness Challenge and the designation for a certified District. The Great Kindness Challenge Week: January 27-31, 2020.


Tetzlaff MS Talks Mental HealthThe focus of the January 9th PTSA meeting at Tetzlaff MS was about mental health issues students face. The school’s Mental Health Professional Marina Clarke, provided information on topics from social media use to entering adolescence to supporting disconnected or overwhelmed students.


Highlights from the January 7, 2020 Board of Education Meeting:


  •     Elliott ES led the Board in the flag salute.


  •     The Board recognized the Gahr HS Marching Gladiators for winning the 2019 State Band Championship.


  •     The Board heard a presentation about the Migrant Education Program under the Spotlight on Teaching and Learning segment of the Board Meeting.


  •     The Board approved the National External Diploma Program at ABC Adult School.


  •     The Board approved the submission of the 2020-2023 Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, Title II: Adult Education and Family Literacy Act Grant.