The SMMUSD Wave- Aug 2022
A Message from the Superintendent
Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff, Students and Community Members,
I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing summer! I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you back for another exciting school year. For those who are new to our school community, I extend a special welcome. This includes families along with our more than 55 new teachers, classified staff and administrators to SMMUSD!
As we prepare for the start of a new school year, I am happy to introduce The SMMUSD Wave, our monthly District newsletter. The newsletter will feature stories, updates and important information about our schools and District, as a whole. It will highlight our wonderful staff and students and all the amazing work they are doing, as well as provide details about upcoming events.
My hope is that The SMMUSD Wave displays a deeper look at our programs and opportunities to support all students in reaching their full capacity academically and becoming a thriving member of our global society.
This month's edition focuses on some of the exceptional accomplishments of the 2021-22 school year, as well as providing a preview of this upcoming year.
Dr. Ben Drati, Superintendent
You can read my latest "Superintendent's Message" here.
Administrators on the Move
Welcome to our new administrators and congratulations to our administrators on the move!
- Dr. Stacy Williamson, Director – Assessment, Research and Evaluation
- Jose Cuevas, House Principal - Samohi
- Cindy Smith, Assistant Principal – Malibu HS
- Farnoosh Aguilar – Assistant Principal - JAMS
- Daniela Wiener, Assistant Principal – McKinley and Grant Elementary
- Gabriela Gonzalez, Assistant Principal – Rogers Elementary
- Madison Braverman, School Psychologist
- Carolina Edelstein, School Psychologist
- Susana Ponce Jauregui, School Psychologist
- Trent Holloway, Plant Manager - Operations
Administrators in New Roles:
- Isaac Burgess, Executive Director - Malibu Pathway
- Dr. Steve Richardson, Executive Director - Elementary
- Dr. Antonio Shelton, Executive Director - Secondary
- Marae Cruce, Principal – Samohi
- Cynthia McGregory, Principal – Olympic
- Martha Chacon, Principal – JAMS
- Ryan Bourke, Principal – Lincoln
- Lila Daruty, Principal – Will Rogers
- Paula Lytz, Principal on Special Assignment – Ed Services
- Dr. Satinder Hawkins, House Principal – Samohi
- Tristen Gartrell, Coordinator – New Teacher Induction
- Wendy Wax, Interim Principal - Franklin
- Michael Smith, Interim Principal - Webster
Malibu High and Santa Monica High Rank in Top Six Percent in U.S. News & World Report for 2022
U.S. News and World Report has ranked Malibu and Santa Monica High Schools in the top six percent out of nearly 18,000 public schools in the nation and in the top 180 schools in California. Malibu High School ranked 176 in the state and Santa Monica High School ranked 108.
Read more about the District’s rankings here.
McKinley Elementary School Receives California Pivotal Practice Award
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District is pleased to announce that McKinley Elementary has been awarded the California Department of Education 2022 CA Pivotal Practice Award (CAPP).
McKinley Elementary is one of 727 schools honored for its demonstrated efforts to support students in four target areas:
- Student Engagement
- Distribution of Technology
- Nutrition Services
- Social Emotional Well-Being of Students
Read more here.
Malibu High School Orchestra Places First at Music in the Parks Competition
The Malibu High School (MHS) orchestra earned an outstanding score of 98/100 while at the Music in the Parks competition. Having competed against 25 other musical ensembles, from California, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho, MHS also placed first in Single-A Division, receiving Best Overall Orchestra, Superior Rating and Highest Scoring Ensemble Overall.
Read more here.
Ballet Folklorico and Mariachi Programs 2022-23
SMMUSD Folkloric Dance - Grades 3-8
SMMUSD is offering Ballet Folklorico classes for students in grades 3-8 at no cost to families! Classes will be taught at the following locations, but if there are 20 or more interested students at a particular site, we may be able to offer the classes at that site.
- Edison Language Academy
- Malibu Elementary
- McKinley Elementary
If your student is interested in taking the class at any of these locations, please click on the link and complete the online form. The deadline to complete the online registration is Tuesday, September 6, 2022. Register: 2022-23 SMMUSD Ballet Folklorico Classes
SMMUSD Mariachi Classes - Grades 5-12
SMMUSD is offering free mariachi classes for the 2022-23 school year!
The Introduction to Mariachi class for 5th graders from any SMMUSD elementary school will begin on Tuesday, September 13 from 3:30-4:30 p.m.
The Middle School Mariachi class will start on Tuesday, September 20 from 3:30-5 p.m. during the school calendar. Any student in SMMUSD is encouraged to take this class.
The High School Mariachi class will begin on Tuesday, September 20 from 3:45-5:30 p.m. Students enrolled in this class will receive two FREE college units per semester through SMC. Any SMMUSD high school student is encouraged to take this class.
If you would like to sign up for any of the mariachi classes, simply click here to sign up.
Deadline for registration is Tuesday, September 6, 2022.
State of Our Schools
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District held the State of Our Schools event, themed Emerging Stronger in May 2022. Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati and the Board of Education reflected on the 2021-22 school year and presented a glimpse into plans for the 2022-23 school year. Updates provided: Academic, extracurricular, facilities, programs, health, safety, community partnerships, fiscal and more!
The State of Our Schools 2022 can be watched here.
School Districts across the U.S. are facing teacher and staffing shortages. With your child’s education as our number one priority SMMUSD is working diligently to fill vacancies within our District. Please assist us in passing this opportunity on to family, friends and neighbors. We have openings for teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, instructional assistants, trades and more.
Join our team!
For more information on career opportunities visit our website.
SMMUSD, SMMPTA, SMMCTA, SEIU and the Santa Monica Education Foundation joined together in the parade this year with families and staff! Great to be back in person celebrating Independence Day!
The SMMUSD Spotlight
Eli Brown, Samohi '13
Meet Eli Brown, conductor and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District graduate! Brown placed first in the inaugural Korean Symphony Orchestra International Competition in November 2021. He also competed in the Khachaturian Competition in Armenia, placing third and the Lake Como Conducting Competition in Italy, in which he placed second. He attributes much of his success to his time within the District.
Read more about Brown and his success here.
Samohi Exploration Building and Gold Gymnasium Campus Plan Moves Forward
The Santa Monica High School (Samohi) campus continues to improve and evolve. The Exploration building and Gold gymnasium, phase three of the Samohi Campus Plan, have completed the pre-construction stage, including the demolition of outdated buildings, excavation, grading, and shoring. Construction of these facilities is now underway. The buildings are planned to open in fall 2024.
Read more about the Exploration building and Gold gymnasium here.
Bond Measures BB and ES Campus Modernization Project Now Complete
The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District has concluded modernization projects on Santa Monica and Malibu campuses facilitated by bond measures BB and ES. The District’s Facility Improvement Project’s (FIP) department continues to be dedicated to projects that align with 21st -century teaching and learning, with continued funding from measure SMS in Santa Monica and M in Malibu.
You can read more about the completed BB and ES modernization projects here.
Events & Important Dates
- August 18, 2022 - First day of school
- September 5, 2022 - No school (Labor Day)
September 6, 2022 - Mariachi and Folklorico Programs Application Deadline