NEWSLETTER - October 2021


Dr. Ben Churchill, Superintendent

Carlsbad Unified's Career Pathways Three-Year Strategic Plan

We all hope our children will succeed in following their dreams, enjoying happy family lives, and finding rewarding careers -- perhaps here in this beautiful community where they were raised.

But we know it is not a straightforward path. Although our local economy is rich with career opportunities for our young people, today’s labor market is complex and careers are specialized. Carlsbad is home to companies such as ViaSat, Thermo-Fisher, and TaylorMade, and to careers ranging from biotech and engineering to sports and leisure. Employers are looking to build a workforce possessing the education, talent, experience, and specialized training needed to fuel innovation and reap financial success. The challenge for young job seekers is to match their career interests and talents with the skills sets that the job market requires.

Carlsbad Unified Board of Trustees has long recognized the importance of helping students to find their strengths and passions and to select rewarding career paths, while readying them for tomorrow’s workforce. And, in endeavoring to prepare our students for their dream jobs while equipping them with the skills employers need, we perceived the need for a comprehensive plan that harnesses the resources of the school district, the community, and local business and industry.

To that end, the District created the Career Education Strategic Planning Workgroup, consisting of Carlsbad Unified administrators and teachers, representatives from MiraCosta College, regional pathways coordinators, and the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. This Workgroup has been meeting since January to create a comprehensive plan for career education.

At last week’s Board meeting, the staff presented a draft of CUSD’s Career Pathway 3-Year Strategic Plan. This plan is an ambitious K-12 approach to prepare students for their future education, careers, and lives. It sets out goals, and the action plans and measurement tools required for meeting them, in six areas: (1) Marketing, Outreach, and Recruitment; (2) Career Pathways Development; (3) Career Education Development K-12; (4) Funding, Facilities, and Equipment; (5) High Quality, Integrated Curriculum and Instruction; and (6) Industry and Community Partnership and Student Work-Based Learning.

Our Career Pathways programs are intended to help students:

  • Identify their strengths, interests, and values
  • Explore a variety of career options
  • Connect instructional activities to areas of interest
  • Interact with the business and professional community, and
  • Prepare for education beyond high school.

In taking on these new career-related challenges, the District will benefit from the extraordinary curriculum and instruction work it already has undertaken over the past several years. For instance:

  • The attributes our Graduate Profile has identified as crucial for our graduates as they move forward in their lives are also the soft skills that will prepare our students for success in the workplace. These include effective communicators and collaborators; critical thinkers; ethical and responsible citizens; self-directed individuals; lifelong learners; and college- and career-ready scholars.

  • CUSD’s academic goals of increasing both the number of graduates meeting the requirements of the University of California and California State University systems (the A through G requirements), and the number of students enrolled in challenging academic courses (such as Honors and AP classes, community college courses, and/or career pathways programs), prepare students with the academic rigor and technical knowledge that will further their readiness for the highly-skilled jobs of the future.

  • Similarly, our current Career Pathways programs -- such as Biomedical Science, Digital Photography, and Engineering Design -- offer students key components of a strong career foundation: comprehensive support services; rigorous academics; career technical education; and work-based learning.

We are excited to build on this strong foundation to strengthen our K-12 career education curriculum, and to expand our collaborations with local business and industry. We look forward to bringing even more authentic career information and experiences into the classroom, and to sending our students out into the community to take advantage of valuable opportunities for work-based learning.

Spotlight on Schools:

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Sage Creek High School: A Place Where Relationships Matter

In 2021, Sage Creek High School earned the recognition of "California Distinguished School" by the California Department of Education, one of 10 San Diego County Public High Schools to receive this recognition. SCHS takes great pride in its world-class academics and career pathways programs, its high graduation rate, and its beautiful campus on a hill. Principal Jesse Schuveiller believes that these elements contribute to school’s success, but that there is something more. SCHS is a school where each student’s well-being is important to the whole student body. SCHS strives to build a trusting and connected community -- to be a place where relationships matter.

“Students thrive when they feel connected to their school -- the fun, the friends, and the engaging activities, clubs, and athletics,” says Schuveiller. “Our students have come through a time of remote learning, social distancing, and separateness, so our staff and student leadership set out to be ambitious about reconnecting students back into school, and reigniting the school spirit that was hard to sustain during COVID.”

Teachers are aiming to help students to become reacclimated to classroom learning, meeting students where they are, adjusting instruction to get them where they need to be, and offering them ways to become involved at school.

For instance, the SCHS College and Career Pathways -- Biomedical Science; Engineering; Computer Science; and Design, Visual, and Media Arts -- go beyond traditional instruction. The Pathways employ an engaging framework of student support, with internships, guest speakers, mentors, and extracurricular activities such as robotics and math clubs and Science Olympiad.

Student-run leadership activities have intensified to involve students in campus life. Although not a new program, the SCHS Link Crew became a vital lifeline during the pandemic to connect 9th graders with their 11th and 12th grade mentors to promote a positive transition into high school. Link Crew Commissioner Capri Suarez says, “the Link Crew program at our school has really grown over the past two years. Our in-person orientation at the beginning of the school year was a blast! Each group had a theme -- mine had a birthday party with hats and cupcakes. We got to know each other and toured the campus. We really work on inviting our freshmen to become a part of the Sage Creek community.” The Link Crew goes into freshmen advisory classrooms twice per month, offering new activities, lessons, and opportunities to connect.

Also, as ASB (Associated Study Body) President Brooke DeGraan reports, “We recently had our ‘Start with Hello’ spirit week, which promotes building a community on campus. We were incredibly happy to see so much participation so early in the year. Upcoming, we have one of our biggest events -- our annual Flag Football Tournament. With food and music, it’s a fun time for the Bobcat Nation. And we are looking forward to the Winter Formal, pep rallies, and spirit weeks. All of these activities get students involved and excited.”

Further, to help students in need of extra social or emotional support, Sage Creek has instituted three new programs:

  • The PALS (Peer Assisted Listening) program makes available dedicated PALS-trained students to listen to their peers, when they are in crisis or just need to talk, and to offer resources and support.

  • Wellness Together is a new program on campus that provides the services of a licenced clinician to offer therapeutic counseling for students in need.

  • A new SCHS Intervention Counselor works with teachers, administrators, and staff to identify “high promise” students in need of additional support -- academic assistance, social emotional support, or personal motivation -- and to intervene as necessary to help them reach their full potential.

This is an exciting time to be a Sage Creek High School student. The school community is coming out of the challenge of the pandemic and working together to be better than ever. The Bobcats are back!

Red Ribbon Week - October 25 to 29, 2021

Carlsbad Unified School District celebrates Red Ribbon Week each year in October. Red Ribbon Week was designed to create an awareness concerning the problems related to the use of tobacco, vapes, alcohol and other drugs, and to connect young people to their schools and community.

On Tuesday October 19, we joined the Carlsbad Mayor, City Council and City Manager virtually at City Hall as they read a Red Ribbon Week Proclamation. We’re thankful for their support of this important week.

In Carlsbad Unified, we will focus on the many aspects of health and safety this week. Parents and families can take advantage of this time to open dialogue at home and to discuss issues like peer pressure, social media, integrity and character, as well as making the right choices for a healthy future.

Please look for additional communication from your school about ways to recognize Red Ribbon Week.

Special thanks to Bryan Snyder (Snyder Art and Design) for creating a coloring sheet for Red Ribbon Week this year!

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Board Meeting Wrap Up - October 13, 2021

The following items were discussed and/or decided at the October 13, 2021 Regular Meeting of the Board of Trustees:

  • Red Ribbon Week, October 25 to 29, 2021 - resolution approved
  • Career Pathways and Career Technical Education (CTE) Draft Three Year Strategic Plan - reviewed, and final draft will be brought back for approval in November
  • ESSER III Expenditure Plan - approved
  • Measure HH and Prop P Bond Update - information/discussion

More information, including slide decks and copies of approved resolutions, can be found here or by clicking the button below.

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Our Schools are on Instagram!

Stay connected with our schools on social media - and follow @CarlsbadUSD for district information, too.
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Credit: Calavera Hills Elementary School (@checoyotes) on Instagram

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Credit: Aviara Oaks Elementary PTA (@aeopta) on Instagram

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Credit: Jefferson Elementary School (@jeffersonjaguars2021) on Instagram

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Credit: Magnolia Elementary School, Principal Aaron Nelson (@magprincipal) on Instagram

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Credit: Valley Middle School (@v.m.s_vikings) on Instagram

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Credit: Ben Churchill (@suptchurchill) on Instagram

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Credit: Carlsbad Educational Foundation (@cbadedu) on Instagram

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Credit: Sage Creek High School (@scbobcats) on Instagram

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Creit: Carlsbad High School Cheerleading (@carlsbad_cheerleading) on Instagram

Carlsbad Unified School District

We provide every student an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment. #cusdlearns