Community Update

September 19, 2023

Festival of the Arts

The greatest contribution our school district provides to our community is the opportunity for our students to explore their strengths and interests during and after the school day. One of the most popular areas for exploration and discovery is the arts. Vista Unified has built an expansive TK-12 visual and performing arts framework that can transform a student’s learning experience into a stage that showcases their talents and aspirations. This year, we will be celebrating the 19th Annual Festival of the Arts on October 21, 2023, from 10:00-4:00 p.m. in the center of Vista. We are proud to announce that over 1,000 students will be showcasing their skills and talents in music, dance, drama, and fine arts. We need your help to attend the event and show your dedication and support to our developing musicians and artists.

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VUSD Community Survey and Board Workshop

VUSD is currently undergoing a school consolidation process due to declining enrollment, which includes closing Beaumont Elementary and Rancho Minerva Middle School at the end of the 2023-24 school year. These closures will require current TK-4 grade students at Beaumont, and current 6-7 grade students at Rancho Minerva to attend new schools in the 2024-25 school year.

VUSD is seeking input and feedback from the community regarding possible, temporary adjustments to the 2024-25 Magnet School Lottery process as a way to help accommodate displaced students from Beaumont and Rancho Minerva. There will also be a Board Workshop on this topic on September 26, 2023 in the Board Room.

Please take a few minutes to respond to this survey, which aims to gauge the perspective of the VUSD community.

English Survey

Building a Multi-Tiered System of Support for All Students

As part of VUSDs multi-tiered system of support to ensure the academic, behavioral, social-emotional and mental health needs of our students are met, schools are continuing to enhance their knowledge of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). During the 22/23 school year, our Cohort 1 schools participated in a training series to implement school wide behavior expectations and practices. California PBIS has a recognition system to acknowledge schools for implementing PBIS with fidelity to the national framework. PBIS at the Tier 1 level is designed for all students and creates safe, predictable, consistent, and proactive school environments that incorporate community, faculty, family, and student voice. Positive school wide behavior expectations and practices contribute to school climate where all students are welcomed and valued; as a result, schools see an increase in attendance.

PBIS is a continuous journey and can take multiple years to implement with fidelity (at least 70 percent on the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI), a school site self-assessment).

  • Bronze PBIS Schools are recognized for implementing PBIS Tier 1 with between 40 and 69 percent fidelity.

  • Silver PBIS Schools are recognized for implementing PBIS Tier 1 with above 70 percent fidelity.

  • Gold PBIS School is recognized for implementing PBIS Tier 1 and Tier 2 with above 70 percent fidelity.

Join us in celebrating the following VUSD schools that were recognized for their 22/23 PBIS implementation efforts.

VUSD Cohort 1 Tier 1- 22/23 Recognitions -

GOLD Implementation Award: Grapevine Elementary

SILVER Implementation Award: Bobier, Maryland, Mission Meadows, Monte Vista, Roosevelt, T.H.E. Leadership Academy

BRONZE Implementation Award: Empresa, Hannalei, Lake, Madison, Rancho Minerva

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Recognizing our Support Staff

It is such a pleasure to recognize the hard work and dedication of our support staff. Recently, our Facilities team has been targeting the replacement of air conditioners on just about every site across the district. With the recent period of extremely hot and humid weather, their hard work has been greatly appreciated by students, teachers, and staff. Another team of support staff that has been behind-the-scenes heroes is the storm/emergency response team. With regard to tropical storm Hillary, this team was on 24 hour watch preparing our facilities before, during, and after the storm. Thanks to their expertise and preparation, the impact of this storm on Vista Unified facilities was minimal. Both of these teams of employees were recognized by the superintendent and school board for their dedication to our community of learners.

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Congratulations to Casita Center - A National Blueprint Ribbon Award Winner 2023

It is an honor and privilege to announce that Casita has been named a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School. The national award has been given out since 1983 on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education to recognize elementary, middle, and high schools. Casita received the award as an Exemplary High Performing school. This accomplishment is one of two schools in San Diego County, one of 35 schools in California, and one of 353 schools across the nation (out of more than 130,000 K-12 schools). This recognition is a testament to the incredible learning environment that the staff, learners, and community members have created by working together and continually striving for academic excellence and innovation. Bravo!

Social Emotional Supports

School attendance it's not just about the number of days we go to school. It's actually really important for the emotional growth and learning of our youth. Showing up to school every day provides a stable and supportive place to learn important skills like understanding feelings, controlling them, being kind to others, and making friends. Going to school regularly also helps develop better connections with friends and teachers. When students are at school, teachers can do a better job of helping them with their social and emotional needs, which means they can do better in school overall. So, making sure our youth attend school regularly is a big part of helping them succeed in their education and careers.

Attendance Awareness Month

We are doing a district-wide attendance Superhero Spirit Day on Wednesday, September 27th! See Flier HERE! Get your students excited about being a SUPERHERO at their school!

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Community School Expansion

Being a community school is a “whole-child” school improvement strategy where the district and school work closely with teachers, students, families, and partners. This year, Vista Unified welcomes nine more sites into its Community School network. Through the work of the Community School Site Lead, each school will use their needs assessment survey to develop a plan of action which addresses the academic and social/emotional needs of students. Community Schools are most successful when parents and outside community partners join the work to meet the needs of students. If you are interested in learning more about how you can help students grow and thrive, please contact your site’s Community School Site Lead.

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Human Trafficking Town Hall

Vista Unified has a dual obligation to its students and parents. One is to provide academic opportunities to help each student discover and grow to their full potential and the other is to provide safe schools and learning environments. While human trafficking, also known as Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children or CSEC, is not a topic anyone is comfortable with discussing, it is a real problem in our city. Sadly, subtle signs of young people experiencing this dreadful act go unnoticed.

On September 25th, District Attorney Summer Stephan and Supervisor Jim Desmond are hosting a Human Trafficking Town Hall at 6:00 pm via zoom. The event aims to shed light on what signs to look for and to equip communities with essential knowledge on how to prevent its young people from falling victim to this pervasive crime. To register for this event, please go to

If you or someone you know needs assistance due to Human Trafficking or CSEC, please reach out to Vista Unified Social Worker, Omar Sarwan at
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School Spotlight - Vista High School, Home of the Panthers

Did you know that Vista High School has a Wellness Program? The Wellness Program is a combination of a Freshman Seminar class and an on campus Wellness Center. Every freshman takes the Freshman Seminar course which is designed to develop and sharpen the behaviors and skills crucial for success in high school and life. Students engage in creating a supportive learning community, building relationships, resolving conflicts, and developing self-awareness and self-management skills.

Vista High’s Wellness Center is open to all students on a drop in basis when they are needing support due to stress, difficulty in school with peers, or for social emotional needs. Services offered by the Wellness Center include:

  • A safe place to develop, use, and reflect on the Habits of Mind

  • Restorative practices and circles

  • Stress management

  • Relationship / social skills

  • Conflict resolution

  • Mindfulness training

  • Anger management

  • Health and nutrition awareness

The Wellness Center supports over 1,000 students each year and remains committed to ensuring all students are physically, mentally, and emotionally well, so that they can successfully participate in learning!

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Bike Education Updates

Our first of three Family Bike Education Nights is coming up in 2 weeks at Madison Middle School! San Diego County Bicycle Coalition (SDCBC) and Palomar Health will be there to talk about rules of the road, safety of wearing helmets and more! This event is for all families and doesn’t just discuss safety of bikes and e-bikes, it also addresses safety of scooters and e-scooters. Click here (English) (Spanish) to view the flier, here is the link to RSVP! We have also scheduled several bike safety assemblies across our elementary and middle schools. Those assemblies will start in October and extend through January. Our main goal is to educate our students and help keep them safe. Please contact with any questions.

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