Duveneck Connections Newsletter

November 10, 2022

The Promise

Palo Alto Unified is recognized as one of the premiere school districts in the entire nation.

In 2019-2020, the PAUSD Promise replaced typical strategic plans to balance organizational goals, student outcomes, and innovative practices. An essential aspect of the PAUSD Promise is the prioritization of goals to maximize impacts. The five priority areas for 2022-2023 are:

  • Serve and Celebrate Others
  • Mental Health and Wellness
  • Early Literacy
  • Equity and Excellence
  • Healthy Attendance

Our students are challenged to reach high standards and are provided an experience capable of accelerating learning through pedagogical academic supports, unobstructed access to rigorous courses, and an unwavering belief that our schools can positively impact the trajectory of each child.

While competitive in every aspect, PAUSD also values the importance of inclusion and success for all students. We strive to create an environment characterized by acceptance, respect, and support to invest in the pursuit of learning and excellence without fear of threat, humiliation, danger, or disregard.

We are able to make progress on our vision and goals and do special things because of the talent, dedication and professionalism of our educators and staff. Our work is further supported by strong partnerships with our amazing parent community, including our partners from PTA and Partners in Education (PiE) who contributed over 50,000 volunteer hours and $5 million to our operational budget in support of high-priority areas.

PAUSD respects the journey as much as the destination. Please enjoy the summary of our progress this year and our plans to embrace a culture of continuous improvement together!

Promise Goal 1: Serve & Celebrate Others

The staff and students of PAUSD will become a community of "builders" through investing in service and celebrations on behalf of others. We will positively impact peers, colleagues, and the broader community through human interaction and connections free of judgment and full of joy. Programs, groups, and individuals will be routinely celebrated for building people up through their actions, words, and kindness. Our shared commitment to celebrating our builders will allow for multiple layers of people to contribute at every level.

Promise Goal 2: Mental Health & Wellness

We strive to provide for the social, emotional, and physical health needs of all students. Our goal is to cultivate positive, identity-safe school environments that promote high levels of connection, engagement, and overall well-being throughout the school community.

The School Psychologist and/or Counseling teams at each site are now supported by mental health and wellness associates (also known as therapists) at all 12 schools. The largest schools have a therapist five days a week and the four smallest schools share two therapists a week.

**Meet our team at Duveneck: Dr. Erika Gardiner, School Psychologist, Ms. Bonnie Foster, Mental Health Therapist and Mrs. Amanda Cabrara, ERMS (Educational Related Mental Health Services).

Promise Goal 3: Early Literacy

The Every Student Reads Initiative (ESRI) strives to reach the goal of all students reading at grade level by the end of third grade. Resources will align with an "all in" approach to addressing early literacy. Students who enter the fourth grade at or above level are best prepared for future success.

Promise Goal 4: Equity and Excellence

Excellence shall become the norm for all regardless of background or demographics. Our schools shall embrace uniqueness, strengths, and challenges with support, understanding, expectations, and encouragement to succeed.

Equity Leadership Cohort kicked off in September, with a focus on the System Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) plan, the newly implemented Multi-Cultural Affairs liaison, and a preview of the work to come in partnership with Facing History. The cohort will continue learning together in late October and will continue to work together over the school year. (Ms. Linda Henigin and I are participating in this cohort for Duveneck this year.)

Our teacher librarians have been thoughtful about making sure the selection of student books is inclusive and that students can see themselves in the stories they select. They continue to work collaboratively updating our school libraries and supporting teachers and students.

Promise Goal 5: Healthy Attendance

Healthy Attendance is a way of clarifying we want everyone to attend when they are healthy and able to be with us safely. The Healthy Attendance Matrix has been rolled out Districtwide. It provides ideas for positive reinforcement, early interventions, and relationship-based interventions and strategies.

#1: Attendance is the number one indicator of dropout and graduation rates.

17%: Only 17% of chronically absent students in Kindergarten and 1st grade can read at grade level.

25%: There is a 25% drop in graduating from high school in 4 years when students are absent between 5-9 days per semester.

5 - 9: As little as 5-9 absences per semester can drop a student's GPA from a 3.0 to a 2.7.

Here is the District' Attendance Policy for your reference: PAUSD Attendance Policy. If you have any questions related to attendance for your student, please contact Cecilia Perez, Duveneck Office Clerk, duveneckattendance@pausd.org.

Happy Thanksgiving!

On behalf of the entire Duveneck staff, I want to wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no school during the week of November 21-25, 2022. School resumes on Monday, November 28.

“Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.”

— Jefferson Bethke

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About Us

At Duveneck, we work together as an inclusive community to inspire a passion for learning. We commit to the academic success of each student and to the emotional well-being of all our students, families and staff.