ACSA Region 8 Newsletter - January 2022

How did the Principal feel about securing this guest speaker at Philadelphia's Barrett Junior High School, October 26, 1967?

Martin Luther King, Jr., "What Is Your Life's Blueprint?"

Dear ACSA Region 8 Members:

I hope everyone of you had a restful winter break and enjoyed your time with family and friends. I would also like to welcome you to a new year. Every new year lends us a chance to reflect on the year past and look forward to tackling challenges of improving ourselves, our habits, and embracing new learnings. I wish everyone the very best and much success in all your endeavors both personal and professional in the year 2022.

As we lead within our communities in various roles and duties, we need to acknowledge the additional challenges that COVID continues to pose. In spite of these challenges, we need to look forward to our continued collaboration, supporting each other, responding to our communities' needs, and keeping students' wellbeing and success at the forefront of our calling as leaders.

I encourage all members of our region to continue with the preventive measures in order to reduce the spread of COVID. Please protect yourself and others by wearing your mask and completing your vaccinations with booster shots. We are all in this together!

Lastly, I want to remind everyone of the wonderful opportunities our region has to offer to grow professionally and network with each other. Here are two upcoming events to sustain us in our work as leaders:

February 23: Leadership Forum Series with Dr. Niki Elliott (Virtual via Zoom)

March 25: Spring Membership Event (Location and format TBD)

More information will be coming regarding these events and please look for additional communication and opportunities from our Charters, Committees & Councils as well.

Remember to take care of yourselves as well. And, when needed, lean-in on our talented and supportive network of ACSA Region 8 members and the executive board. We got this!

Happy New Year!

Be well,

Ramis Ahrary

President, ACSA Region 8

We See You!

Your Region 8 ACSA leadership team “sees you” and your commitment to educating our students. In spite of the ever-changing and often contradictory policies and practices mandated by those in charge you continue to weather the storm. Your efforts to help our students engage in meaning instruction is to be commended. You are doing your part to incrementally reduce the impact SARS has had on our school system and to transition our condition from an pandemic to an endemic.

Others within and outside the walls of education “see you” also. When I speak with educators at every level I hear the weariness in their voices, yet the hopefulness in their eyes as they tell the stories of staff members who express their excitement of a lesson taught or observed on a school site. I heard parents convey their appreciation for the efforts the schools are making to engage their children in a nurturing and rigorous classroom. I hear our administrators boast of the incredible resources implemented at the schools to ensure both the academic and social-emotional needs of their students and staff are being addressed. Local elected officials marvel at the dedication and tenacity administrators have displayed throughout the pandemic.

The Region 8 leadership team recognizes the past two years have thrust extraordinary challenges into your daily operations. Most of you never thought you would become a quasi health or medical operations expert, but you are doing the tasks with proficiency and grace. We are humbled by your grit and professionalism in these adverse circumstances.

The challenges will continue, however we want you to know that “We See You!”

Eric Andrew, Region 8 Consultant


Save the Date:

Friday, April 29, 2022 at 5pm at Villa Ragusa in downtown Campbell!

(Note that the date was changed from May 6 to April 29)

ACSA is the largest Association for California School Administrators. One of Region 8’s, as well as ACSA’s priorities, is to recognize our leaders for their excellence at our annual awards program that honors their achievements and dedication to public education at both the regional and state levels. Thank you for submitting outstanding nominations. The winners will be announced in the next OCHO. More about the program can be found at the State Awards Program homepage.

The highlight of the evening is the Every Student Succeeding award. ACSA’s Every Student Succeeding (ESS) program honors students who exceed expectations in part, as a result of the support that they have received from educators along the way. For more information on the ESS program, including the nomination form, visit the state Awards Program website. Every Student Succeeding continues as a paper nomination submission which can also be accessed on the State Awards Program homepage. We need your help- Please submit your ESS nominations to

Alyssa or Lena by January 30, 2022.

Questions? Contact Alyssa Lynch (alynch@metroed.net) or

Lena Bundtzen (lbundtzen@campbellusd.org)

Looking forward to seeing you in person on April 29, 2022 at our annual event! More information to RSVP will be in the next OCHO.

Curriculum, Instruction & Accountability Update

Goal #1 The CI&A Council will provide resources for current, new and aspiring Curriculum, Instruction and Accountability Leaders. Our ACSA State Curriculum, Instruction, & Accountability Council is striving to meet this goal through creative strategies. There are new leaders in the realm of CIA who need connection to others who have the ability to walk them through a “how to” or to problem solve. There are also veterans who need a thought partner on new additions such as navigating new state requirements around independent study or completing the Educators Effectiveness Grant. Here are some of the ideas we are exploring, please let me know if you would make use of any of them (email me at cjordan@musd.org):

  • Virtual Office Hours with beverages hosted by ACSA CIA Council on Mondays at 4:30

  • In person buddy match with someone in our region

  • Resource list of ACSA colleagues who have expertise areas and are willing to help you

  • Q&A board that operates similarly to something like Slack or Google Chat Groups

  • CIA resources by category such as LCAP, A-G course development, or ELO planning

Did you know that by June 30, 2022 districts with kindergarten programs must complete a plan per AB 130 for implementing Universal Pre-Kindergarten? Summary slides of AB 130 PK/TK (from a presentation by Stephen Propheter of CDE during CIA meeting held on Nov 3).

Student Services and Special Education Council

The Student Services and Special Education Council met on January 11, prior to the 2022 Every Child Counts Symposium. While there were administrators who had to cancel their attendance due to the COVID-19 surge (including me), many council members were present and the symposium continued successfully. What follows are a few legislative updates from ACSA.

  • The Governor’s budget was just released and negotiations are beginning in a variety of areas including: early intervention, inclusive classroom infrastructure, literacy coaches, multi-lingual school libraries, and inclusive preschool settings.
  • The Special Education work group will be exploring an alternative diploma.
  • Independent Study will continue for 22-23. The details are pending and ACSA will advocate to address challenges that were faced this school year.
  • Federal plan includes a holding pattern for special education funding, Biden to maintain current level that has been in place through the American Rescue Plan.

Let's share some reading recommendations

Over the past two years, we have been reminded of the importance of growing as individuals in understanding how race and racism has shaped who we are as individuals and how race has impacted the educational experience of every child in America.

What book or article has made a difference for you and/or your organizations in addressing this topic.

For example: One book addressing racial equity in schools that helped me is Unconscious Bias in Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism, by Tracey Benson and Sarah Fiarman. I appreciate this book because the authors write from their real-world experience as school principals and outline specific strategies that can be used with a school staff to normalize talking about race and bias and to begin to make meaningful change to eliminate the negative impact of unconscious bias.

What do you recommend? It just takes a second.

Click on the button below to share the title and author of one book that has impacted you in this area. Results will be shared in the next OCHO.

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