Monday Message: 6/12/2023
June 12, 2023
Message from the Superintendent: A Message to PYLUSD Graduates, Class of 2023
June 12, 2023
This is a special week in PYLUSD as we honor all of you, our graduates!
Having just completed visiting all 34 schools over the past month, there have been a number of themes embedded in our wonderful school district. One of the most impactful threads connecting all schools is the uniquely high number of PYL employees who live in this community, who have attended and graduated from our schools, and who have parents and grandparents still living in this community.
As an avid fisherman, I liken this phenomenon to the amazing life cycle of the salmon…
Salmon are a special animal, hatched high up in the mountains, way upstream in small freshwater streams and waterways throughout the pacific northwest. Here in small and remote locations, the salmon grow, mature, and begin their long journey toward the ocean. Before entering the ocean, the young salmon spend considerable time in estuaries, which combine fresh water and salt water. There, the salmons’ body chemistry changes as they prepare for their long journey as a saltwater fish in the vast oceans.
This week our graduates leave the estuaries of PYL, and enter the ocean that is life beyond high school. They take what they’ve learned from our teachers, coaches, counselors, administrators, and support staff and use this knowledge to help guide their daily decisions.
After years of navigating the earth’s waters, one of the world’s most amazing life stories happens instantly with the salmon. After years and years out in the great blue ocean, something clicks in their “being,” and no matter where they are, the salmon turn around and come home. Using the earth’s magnetic field like a compass, they often travel thousands of miles on this journey, returning to the same estuary they once lived in.
There they begin the arduous journey upstream, avoiding predators and fighting gravity and harsh waters, until they reach their final resting place…the exact same pond they were once hatched, to spawn and complete their life cycle.
To our PYLUSD graduates, it is my hope that you venture off and find success in whatever endeavors you so choose; however, like the salmon, I hope you return to this wonderful community like so many families before you. I encourage you to become our next generation of teachers, coaches, and amazing support staff. PYLUSD has been your home for many years, and you are always welcome back!
Alex Cherniss, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District
Message from the Board President
Hello PYL Community,
This week marks the end of another school year in the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District and it’s a busy and exciting time with festivities planned all week long. Nearly 2,000 seniors will receive their high school diplomas and thousands of students will promote from elementary to middle school and middle to high school. I look forward to celebrating these academic milestones alongside each of you…our staff and our families.
In fact, on behalf of the entire Board of Education, I want to take a moment to thank you for your ongoing support of our students and school district. We pride ourselves on our core value of collaboration by working together with members of our community to support the success of our students inside and outside of the classroom. Undeniably, education is a shared commitment between teachers, staff members, and administrators as well as our supportive families. Give yourself a pat on the back for your efforts!
So with summer recess on the horizon, I hope you will take time to relax, make memories with your loved ones, and bask in the glory of another successful school year here in PYLUSD. We could not have done it without you.
Enjoy your break and we will see you in August!
Safety Continues to be a Top Priority in PYLUSD
In continuing with the recognition of June 2023 as National Safety Month, the district will shed light on some of its safety and wellness-related initiatives implemented over this school year. These key initiatives join a long list of initiatives that help contribute to a safe learning environment for our students and staff on our campuses. It is important to note that a more comprehensive list is available on our district website at www.pylusd.org/safety.
In the areas of emergency preparedness and emergency response, this year the district partnered with local law enforcement to offer run, hide, fight protocol training to staff on all campuses. Learning these three tactics—run, hide, fight—prepare and empower our staff to put them into practice should the unthinkable occur. In addition, school staff are regularly trained on lockdown protocols to learn common language and ensure consistent responses from law enforcement. Procedures are updated as best practices are shared by law enforcement experts.
Staff and student education focused on safety continues to be a priority as all middle and high school teams were trained in the area of suicide prevention this year. Seventh, ninth, and twelfth-grade students received a similar age-appropriate presentation. And as was shared last month, doses of NARCAN®, a life-saving medication that can reverse the effects of an overdose from opioids, are stocked on all campuses, and over 250 staff members were trained to administer it.
Lastly, in the area of mental and emotional wellness, the district continues to make significant investments to help ensure our students, staff, and families have access to the support they need. We have provided school counselors, wellness specialists, registered behavioral technicians, psychologists, and other systems of support for years including partnerships with third-party agencies such as Outreach Concern and CareSolace.
While the district is proud of the efforts made and initiatives implemented, staff always seeks ways to improve in the area of safety and wellness. After all, a safe and respectful environment is essential to student success.
2023 Summer Programs
This year, the Early and Expanded Learning Department is supporting many PYLUSD summer school programs, including elementary summer enrichment, summer camps, middle school academic grade recovery program (IMPACT), high school credit recovery program, and high school sports camps. These programs will provide learning, enrichment, and sports to over 5,500 students in the coming weeks. The district is committed to ensuring students have an opportunity to participate in high-quality summer programs, some of which are summarized below.
This is the district’s first year offering summer enrichment programs at two campuses. With the additional school, the district was able to double the size of the program with 52 teachers and over 60 classified staff to support over 800 students. The program is open to students in grades TK-7.
This summer, the district will host six fee-based and state-funded summer camps located at Glenview, Lakeview, Morse, Travis Ranch, Wagner, and Rio Vista elementary schools. The programs are open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The ten-week summer program offers field trips to Knott’s Berry Farm and a water park, fishing trips, a BMX show, bowling, and STEAM programs, just to name a few.
To learn more about the district’s summer programs, visit www.pylusd.org/expandedlearning, or call (714) 986-7030.
Preschool Program Expansion Coming Fall 2023
In case you missed the announcement at the end of May, the district is set to open two new preschools this fall—one at Wagner Elementary School in Placentia and the other at Bryant Ranch School in Yorba Linda.
The preschool program at Wagner will boast a hybrid state-funded and fee-based model with full-day and half-day options. The state-funded preschool portion of the program will be an income and need-eligible qualifying program so that socioeconomically disadvantaged students can learn for free in a safe, healthy, and age-appropriate educational environment. The fee-based portion of the program will offer schooling options for families at an affordable rate.
The preschool program at Bryant Ranch will be entirely fee-based, with families paying an affordable rate based on the number of days and hours their student attends. Both programs will aim to meet the developmental and individual needs of students ages two years and nine months to five years old in an inclusive and nurturing environment. The student-to-teacher ratio in each classroom will be 12:1.
Read the full announcement online at www.pylusd.org/apps/news/article/1772600.
Upcoming Events and Meetings
June — National Safety Month
June 15, 2023 — Last Day of 2022-2023 School Year
June 20, 2023 — Board of Education Meeting
August 29, 2023 — First Day of the 2023-2024 School Year