Community Update

March 15, 2023

Celebrating Our Leaders

Vista Unified continues to capture recognition for leadership across all levels of our organization. Just last week, our entire Vista community came together to recognize the 2023 Heroes of Vista - celebrating excellence in education, business, public safety and more. The Vista Chamber of Commerce and the Vista Education Foundation formally recognized these individuals for their contribution to our community. In addition to recognizing business leaders, law enforcement, and veterans, five members of the Vista Unified team were recognized as true heroes of Vista. Please join me in congratulating our 2023 award winners:

  • Georgine Smith - Classified Person of the Year

  • Dewayne Cossey - Technology Educator of the Year

  • George Doyle - Art Educator of the Year

  • Holly Gruver - Health Person of the Year

  • Tracy Zachry - Administrator of the Year

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Family Bike Education Nights

In collaboration with the San Diego County Bike Coalition, Scripps, Palomar Health, and the Sheriff’s Department, Vista Unified will be hosting two Family Bike Education Nights: March 22nd and April 5th. This is a chance for families and students to learn about the rules of the road when riding a bicycle, how to correctly wear a helmet, and information on e-bikes and scooters. The first 20 attendees will receive a free helmet with a fitting. We will also be having a raffle! Families may RSVP for the event using the QR code on the flyer.

District Asset Management Advisory Committee

During the March 2, 2023 Board Workshop, the School Board Trustees reviewed the facilities condition data set that will be used by the District Asset Management Advisory Committee and narrowed the scope of the committee focus to four land parcels in the school district:

Parcel #181-022-09-00; 1720 Monte Vista Road 92084 (Monte Vista Elementary School)

Parcel #180-010-01-00; 550 Beaumont Drive 92084 (Beaumont Elementary School)

Parcel #163-270-29-00; 740 Olive Avenue 92083 (Vista Innovation and Design Academy)

Parcel #178-130-92-00; 2245 Foothill Drive 92084 (Rancho Minerva Middle School)

It is important to note that, while these parcels of land have been identified for analysis by the committee, it does not mean that they will be closed. The committee is tasked with making recommendations to the school board directly about how the land parcels could be used. It will be the responsibility of the school board of trustees to discuss and make a decision related to the future use of each land parcel; which may include school consolidation. Additionally, if the school board were to vote to consolidate a school, there is an official school closure process that would be used over the course of many months and culminate in June 2024.

We have held informational meetings for teachers, staff, and parents for the schools identified. During these meetings, the Ruhnau Clarke Architectural Firm provided a detailed overview of the Long Range Facility Master Planning process and the role of the Asset Management Advisory Committee. Each meeting included opportunities for questions and answers. Each meeting included interpretation in Spanish. We also provided an informational letter (English - Spanish) to each school community.

CSUSM Alliance Renewal

Vista Unified has just renewed the guaranteed admission alliance with Cal State San Marcos this month. This agreement allows any Vista Unified senior guaranteed admission to the university if they satisfy a set of 7 criteria outlined in the agreement. Vista Unified has set a goal to double the number of students taking advantage of the alliance so that students who want to go to college can access this opportunity close to home. Just last year, we posted the largest number of students matriculating to CSUSM via the alliance yet (107 students). If you are interested in more information, please check in with your high school counselor.

Magnet School Updates: Secondary Results and Elementary Application Window

The Secondary Schools lottery was held on March 3rd for students who applied to attend VIDA, Vista Magnet Middle School, and/or Mission Vista High School. Results will be available starting Friday, March 17th through the School Mint platform. Guardians will have until March 22nd at 7:00 pm to accept or decline any offers.

For families wishing for their elementary student to attend a magnet school, the application window is still open for Casita Center for Science and Technology and Vista Academy of Performing Arts. Applications and additional information can be found by visiting the Vista Unified Magnet Webpage. The application window for elementary school will close on April 7th at 4:30 pm.

Teaching and Learning - The Science of Reading

Did you know pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest word in the English language? In order to read this word, you would have to use several strategies to decode and say it correctly. The method that best helps children learn to read, from the earliest steps in spoken language to being able to successfully decode unfamiliar words, has been determined as The Science of Reading. The brain must be taught how to read, how to decode, and how to comprehend oral language. Decoding is the process of translating print into speech by rapidly matching a letter or combination of letters (graphemes) to their sounds (phonemes) and recognizing the patterns that make syllables and words, as stated in What is Decoding?. Decodable text is not decodable if they have not been taught the code. The five key elements when teaching a child how to read are comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, phonics, and phonemic awareness, also known as the CORE 5. While these are all very important, they are not equal. Comprehension is always the ultimate goal of reading, and the other elements are in service of making meaning from text (collaborative classroom). Teaching a child to read is a team effort.

The following are tools to support your child(ren) with reading at home.

Summer School

Elementary summer school plans are moving forward with dates for the three-week session from June 12th to June 30th. The theme for this year is “Wild About Summer.” Students will read and write about the amazing animal kingdom and brush up on math skills. Students will also be able to enjoy interactive presentations from organizations focused on animal habitats and will participate in hands-on science activities. More information on which elementary sites will house the summer session and registration will be coming soon!

Middle school students will have access to bridge and enrichment programs at each school site. Some students will be invited to participate in bridge programs, which will provide targeted learning opportunities to prepare students academically for the upcoming school year. Each middle school will also offer enrichment opportunities in a variety of disciplines. Students and families will receive additional information about the specific programs offered at their schools in the coming months.

At the high school level, students will have access to a multi-tiered system of summer school programs. Some of our incoming 8th graders will be invited to participate in a bridge program at the school they will attend in the fall. Each high school will offer a variety of enrichment opportunities for their students, and all current high school students will have the option of remediating failing grades for both the fall and spring semesters. In addition, we are maintaining our program for our current seniors who need to finish a few more credits in order to graduate in July. Students and families will receive additional information about the programs and enrollment in the coming months.

Winter Athletics

The Vista Unified School District is committed to supporting education-based athletic programs to connect students to school. The athletes and coaches of Vista Unified have just completed another successful season of sport this winter. Our teams worked hard to strive for excellence and demonstrate integrity in their pursuit of victory with honor.

At Mission Vista High School, athletics have never been stronger. This season had the highest number of students participating in school’s history, and many programs had successful seasons, won league championships, and made great runs in the CIF playoffs. A new E-Sports team is competing for the first time in CIF, and rugby is off to a great start in league play.

At Rancho Buena Vista High School, the winter sports teams have been very successful. Girls water polo, basketball, and soccer have competed hard all season and earned CIF playoff berths. Girls wrestling has a CIF champion and runner-up and finished high in the CIF state tournament. Many RBV athletes have led peer leadership teams to contribute positively to the athletic and school culture. All of the student-athletes have worked hard to pursue their team and individual goals.

Vista High School had three girls wrestling CIF champions and completed the season fifth in the entire San Diego Section of CIF. Boys and girls soccer worked hard on and off the field as great improvements were made both academically and athletically. The girls water polo team expanded to 17 team members this year and competed in the prestigious Five Counties Tournament for the first time in four years. Girls and Boys basketball had successful seasons with the girls building on a young team and the boys finishing strong and qualifying for a CIF playoff spot.

Congratulations to all of our athletes, coaches and parents on a successful season of sport!

Vista’s Art Under the Stars

Vista Unified School District celebrates the arts that are happening throughout our district. In April, we will hold two community events to feature these arts. On Wednesday, April 5th, you are invited to the Opening Reception of the second Annual Secondary Visual Arts Art Show held at the Civic Center. The Reception starts at 4:30 pm. This show is juried with a Superintendent, Mayor, City Council, and Principal award, along with awards for Best in Show, Best in Originality, and Best in Skill/Craftsmanship. The show runs April 5th through the 28th.

Our second community event is Vista’s Art Under the Stars, which features performing groups from across the district. This year, it is a two-day event held at the Moonlight Amphitheatre on April 11th and 12th. Gates will open at 5:15 pm with the show starting at 6:00 pm. Each evening will feature different performing groups. Admission is free. Food will be available for purchase at the venue from the Bread and Cheese Eatery. We are grateful this year to have the endorsement of the Del Norte PTA and the Vista Education Foundation.

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COVID-19 Clinic at the VIC to Close on March 15th

The COVID-19 Clinic at the Vista Innovation Center will be permanently closing on March 15th. We are grateful for the partnership with Inspire Diagnostics, as thousands of VUSD students, staff, and community members were able to access COVID-19 testing and vaccinations over the past two years.

Vista Magnet Middle School Staff Parking Lot Closure

The Vista Magnet Middle School staff parking lot will be starting construction on Monday, March 27th, which will continue through Monday, July 31st. A temporary construction fence around the staff parking lot will be installed on Monday, March 27th.The staff parking lot will be closed so that much needed upgrades can be done. This phase of the Measure LL bond project includes new parking lot lights, new asphalt, infrastructure for future fiber and future electric vehicle charging, ADA parking spots, new school Marquee, and the removal of an aged portable classroom building.

  • The district has negotiated with the City for VMMS staff to temporarily park in their Civic Center Parking lot during construction; parking placards will be issued accordingly. Please make sure to be good neighbors, and utilize the spots farthest away from the Civic Center.

  • During this time, please make sure to follow the procedure set by VMMS regarding drop off and pickup of students via Eucalyptus Avenue and South Citrus Avenue.

Your patience and cooperation for abiding by the traffic flow, parking, and picking up and dropping off during this time period is greatly appreciated.


Matt Doyle, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Vista Unified School District