Community Update

June 15, 2021

Celebrations of Learning

We have made it to the end of the school year! Thank you all for your patience, perseverance, grace, and flexibility over these past fifteen months. It has been a true journey. In spite of the numerous challenges, frustrations, and adjustments, we remained resilient as a community and demonstrated that working together enabled us to keep the focus on students at the center of our efforts and decisions. In spite of these challenges, our students across all grade levels have continued to learn and grow.

Indeed, our graduating seniors have exceeded $4,000,000 in scholarships and awards as a result of their educational achievement. Our student graduates have been accepted to over fifty different colleges and universities across the country including Cal State San Marcos, Palomar College, SDSU, UCSD, UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, UC Irvine, Stanford, Colorado State, BYU, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Arizona State, University of Miami, Virginia Tech, and many, many more.

We have over 100 different celebrations of learning planned for this week across the district. Each celebration highlights the incredible efforts, skill, and abilities of our students. Staying focused on our commitment as an organization, we have engaged parents and students in the design of our awards ceremonies, promotions, and graduation events. Each event represents the unique culture of each of our 27 fantastic schools - from elementary, to middle, to high, to alternative.

This is a time for celebration and joy. Our students, with the support of teachers, staff, and families, have shown us all what is possible when an entire community stands together. Thank you to all teachers, staff, parents, and extended family members for making this week of celebration special and memorable. Our motto of “We are all in this together” paid off for the children of our community.

As we enjoy this week of celebration, please rest assured that we are not done yet. Our teachers and administrators have planned an incredible series of summer learning activities so that our students can access the support they need to continue their learning. We have over 4,000 students already enrolled.

Finally, it is important to note that our success as a school district would not be possible without the leadership of our School Board Trustees. President Vargas, Vice President Morton, Clerk Alvarado, Rosemary Smithfield, and Julie Kelly have presided over more than 30 meetings this year. This amounts to over 180 hours or 4.5 weeks of work to keep our district moving in the right direction. Thank you for your leadership.

Big picture

Summer School Learning Opportunities- Elementary

“Super Science Summer School”

Student enrollment for the district elementary summer session is continuing with approximately 500 students registered to attend. Incoming first grade students will receive phonics instruction and reading instruction aligned to the science theme “Properties.” Second and third grade students will study “Force and Motion,” and reading and writing will align to that theme. Second grade students will also receive phonics instruction to enhance their language arts instruction. “Machines at Work and Play” will round out the fourth and fifth grade curriculum for summer school with reading and writing around this theme. Each summer school teacher will have a science kit with hands-on experiments for an interactive science session. Math instruction will focus on the priority standards for each grade level with the use of Eureka Math. Fit4Kids will provide outside organized games for students several times a week to add to summer fun for students. The summer school session will run for three weeks from June 21st to July 9th.

Additionally, some elementary schools will be hosting a Jumpstart program for incoming kindergarten students in early August. Extended School Year (ESY) for students will commence on June 28th-July 23rd with 250 students attending.

Summer School for Secondary, June 21 - July 30, 2021

For middle and high school students, we have a variety of opportunities during the summer months in order to create a robust, comprehensive, and multi-tiered system of enrichment and support. Over 2,700 secondary students are already registered for summer sessions. Please contact your individual school site for more information about any of the programs listed below.

  • Remediation - We have two comprehensive programs for high school students to remediate failing grades in order to be on track for graduation and to meet A-G requirements.

    • Graduating seniors will have the opportunity to attend up to two three-week sessions at Alta/Murray in order to complete their senior year and receive a diploma during the summer.

    • Current 9th, 10th, and 11th graders will also have the opportunity to remediate failing grades through a district-wide summer school program. We will offer six weeks of Edgenuity courses in the summer months at MVHS, RBVHS, and VHS, allowing students to work at their own pace and earn multiple credits before the next school year.

  • Bridge - All middle and high schools are offering bridge options to provide targeted learning opportunities that will prepare students academically for the upcoming school year. District-wide, bridge opportunities include programs for invited incoming 6th and 9th graders, English Language Learners, special education students, and at-risk students.

  • Enrichment - Each middle and high school will also offer enrichment opportunities in a variety of disciplines. Sample programs include AVID, sports and athletics, visual and performing arts, lab sciences, career technical education, computer science, and STEM and mobile maker labs.

VAX for the Win - Vista Student Wins $50,000!

Each Friday, the state of California holds a $50,000 drawing for 15 lucky winners. Participants for the drawing are from the pool of Californians who have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Anyone who has received the COVID-19 vaccination is eligible to have their name placed in the drawing. On June 11th, Vista High School junior, Nancy Gutierrez, was presented with a $50,000 check from Governor Gavin Newsom as she was one of this week’s 15 winners in the California Vaccine Lottery. Governor Newsom joined California State Assembly Member Tasha Boerner Horvath at the Linda Rhoades Center for the drawing and check presentation. When asked about receiving $50,000, Nancy said getting the vaccine will allow her to catch up in person with friends who have also been vaccinated. As soon as she became eligible for the vaccine, Nancy booked an appointment for her parents and herself. Since Nancy is under 18, the money will be put into a savings account until her 18th birthday. Anyone who has received even one COVID-19 vaccine shot by next Tuesday will be eligible for the state’s grand prize: $15 million split between 10 lucky winners. Congratulations, Nancy, on winning and for helping to Get Vista Vaccinated!

Vista Unified Focus on Health and Safety

As this year of learning comes to a close, we would like to compliment our students and staff on their dedication to the health and safety at our school sites. From transitional kindergarten to seniors, our students honored the requirements to socially distance themselves and wear their masks. For all VUSD sponsored summer programs, we will continue to require all students and staff to wear face coverings and honor social distancing guidelines. In addition, high school students participating in sports camps will continue to participate in weekly asymptomatic testing.

Together, we celebrate as a community now that San Diego County has entered the minimal or Yellow Tier. Significant progress was made in reducing community transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and now fewer restrictions will be placed on individuals as noted in the most recent public health order from the CDPH. Please note that face masks are still required for anyone visiting a Vista Unified school for promotion or graduation events.

As we plan for the 2021-2022 school year, we are closely monitoring the guidance from the CDPH and HHA to ensure that schools remain healthy and safe. While we know many restrictions are being lifted for our state, Vista Unified will continue to follow guidance specific to TK-12 educational settings and framed around the following four actions:

  • Prioritize the health, safety, and well-being of all Vista Unified students and staff

  • Follow the health and safety guidelines from the California Department of Public Health and the San Diego Health and Human Services

  • Ensure all Vista Unified school campuses are safe for students, staff, and the general public

  • Promote high quality and engaging learning for students in a safe and healthy environment

Thank you for joining us in our continued commitment to keep our schools safe places of learning. It has been an honor serving as your Superintendent this year.

We are all in this together.


Matt Doyle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Vista Unified School District