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Escondido Union School District (EUSD) is surveying parents, staff members, and community members to learn more about your perceptions and experiences with EUSD. Specifically, we hope to gather feedback on the district’s Local Control and Accountability (LCAP) goals, such as current performance, areas for improvement, and future goals.

We hope that you will participate in this survey. Your feedback is essential, and will help EUSD improve programs and services to students, families, employees, and community members.

EUSD has partnered with Hanover Research to administer and analyze this survey. Hanover Research is an independent market research firm based in Washington, D.C., and is in no way affiliated with any other entity or organization. Your responses are completely anonymous and will be kept strictly confidential, so please be as open and honest as possible. The survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

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Celebrating 50 years in an EPIC Way… Spotlight on Conway Elementary

There’s excitement in the air at Conway Elementary as students, staff, and families prepare for their 50th Anniversary Celebration on November 4th. This wonderful event will highlight Conway’s rich history, while providing a glimpse into the exceptional educational opportunities experienced by Conway’s current students, each and every day.

Not only is the Conway community very proud of their past, they’re extremely excited about their future. Staff, parents, and students are committed to a shared goal: All Conway students will acquire the skills necessary to thrive in a rapidly-changing world, and be contributors to their community.

To accomplish their goal, Conway has embraced the nationally-recognized, research-based, and innovative school improvement model known as EL Education (formerly Expeditionary Learning). The goals of EL Education are to foster academic achievement and character growth, while instilling a love of learning and a sense of community. This model has been credited with producing high-performing schools that promote student achievement through active learning, character growth, and teamwork.

Indeed, it’s becoming increasingly evident that EL Education is definitely working at Conway — as evidenced in their students’ infectious enthusiasm for learning, their meaningful contributions to their school and community, and their significant gains in academic proficiency measures.

In fact, some of Conway’s fourth grade teachers recently presented at the EL National Conference in Detroit. Their presentation, Making Connections: Engaging English Language Learners with Complex Text, received incredible feedback from conference attendees — yet another example of EUSD being recognized on the national stage.

Group photo of Conway principal Tina Meglich, Conway teachers Lana Deo Brady, Therese Gallup Devan, Bonnie Kaufman, and Steve Palomino, and EL Education CEO Ron Berger

Conway principal Tina Meglich and teachers Lana Deo Brady, Therese Gallup Devan, Bonnie Kaufman, and Steve Palomino meet Ron Berger, CEO for EL Education, at the October 2016 EL Education Conference in Detroit.

Conway’s vision is truly EPIC: All learners discover their potential through Excellence, Perseverance, Integrity, and Compassion. Of special note is the fact that their EPIC vision is one that extends beyond the walls of the classroom. As Kindergarten parents, Roman and Gaby Gomez, shared:

“My wife and I are teaching our son, a kindergartener in Mrs. Vidales’ class, how to be EPIC at home, too. What you are teaching him here at school, we are extending it to home. It’s important to us. We are thankful to be here at Conway.”

To turn their EPIC vision into reality, Conway’s teachers work very hard to make academic content standards come alive through long-term, in-depth studies called Learning Expeditions.

Each Expedition incorporates the teaching of academic skills, while fostering a genuine love of learning. Learning becomes even more relevant as students are provided opportunities to investigate real-world or community issues, collaborate with their peers, develop meaningful solutions, and take positive actions.

Expeditions vary by grade level and have included such complex topics as: the interdependent relationships in various ecosystems, the plight of endangered animals, and protecting our local watershed. Students develop and hone many skills throughout their engaging expeditions, including: scientific research and observation; reading, writing and speaking; and collaboration and problem-solving.

Students tend to their garden at Conway Elementary School

The Conway Garden is just one example of the hands-on, real-world nature of EL Education at Conway Elementary School.

Additionally, technology, art, and various hands-on building projects are often incorporated into the students’ creative solutions and plans of action. Raising community awareness about the issues they’ve studied, and being of service to others, are vital components of Conway’s EL Education.

Clearly, their foundational motto — “We are CREW, not passengers” — exemplifies the Conway community’s collective commitment to quality work, scholarly actions, collaboration, and good citizenship. As their Principal, Tina Meglich, states:

“I am inspired each and every day by the Conway Crew. The teachers are agents of change, champions of a growth mindset, and facilitators of creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration so that our students learn how to lead their own learning. The spirit of CREW permeates throughout every aspect of Conway, and I am so proud to be a Conway Cougar!”

Our hats go off to Conway Elementary School! Their unwavering commitment to academic achievement, inclusion, collaborative relationships, and community service embody the many skills that our students will need to be successful — now, and in the future.

Visit Conway’s Website

Parents: Information About New Progress Report Cards

During the 2015-16 school year, a committee of first through fifth grade teachers from across the district collaborated to revise our report cards.  This work resulted in the development of standards-based progress report cards for students in first through fifth grade.  The 2016-17 school year will be the first year the new progress report card will be implemented. The progress report card is designed to document and provide feedback about what each student is learning in every subject area and to report progress toward grade level end of year standards and habits of success.

Revisions to the progress report cards include the following:

  • The content areas for English Language Arts and Mathematics have been aligned with the state’s standards.
  • The grading has been transitioned from numerical grades to descriptors designed to show where students are on their journey towards meeting end of year grade level standards. 
  • The effort/work habits and citizenship section has been changed to Habits of Success; Lifelong Learning to further reflect the work habits needed to be successful in the 21st century.

Please take a moment to view this short video on the new progress report cards.

Training Event was a HUGE Success!!!

The CARE Youth Community Advisory Networking/Training Event was a HUGE success!  We had 128 youth and family support staff (school social workers, counselors, and family liaisons) from our district, the high school district, and representatives from youth and family services agencies in the community. It was a powerful morning of collaboration, relationship building, and learning!

The half day training/networking event took place at the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency North Inland Live Well Center.  The highlight of the event was a presentation by Dr. Dawn Griffin, forensic psychologist and national expert on trauma, entitled “Creating Trauma Informed Systems: Integrating Schools and Community.”

The County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services North Regions Deputy Director, Chuck Matthews, opened the event by recognizing our entire team as a model of collaboration for the County.

Free clothing and shoes for nearly 1,000 students!!!

Operation School Bell, a program of the Assistance League of Inland North County, is providing $100 worth of clothing from Kohls and $25 worth of shoes from Payless for approximately 1,000 EUSD students during the month of October!!! The program actually organizes a “group shopping trip” for the students and their families to go to Kohls and choose their own clothes. Just another example of our incredible school-community partnerships at EUSD!!!!

Lights… Camera… Action! Spotlight on Mission Television

“This class was a stepping stone in my future. MTV was a huge life changer. It’s a class I will never forget.”

Ranger Saldivar
UCLA student & Mission Television graduate

This week, we’re shining the spotlight on Mission Middle School’s video production program — otherwise known as Mission Television, or MTV. Entering their ninth season, these very talented Mission Wildcats not only reach for the stars, they literally become the stars — year after year!

Students begin this award-winning program in 6th grade with a twelve-week introduction to digital media, taught by the amazing Ms. Tamara Whitney — a 2009 Teacher of the Year recipient at Mission Middle School, and a finalist for Educator of the Year for the California League of Middle Schools, Region 9.

Then, in 7th grade, students receive an entire year of extensive training on video equipment while learning about the three stages of filming: Pre-production, production, and post-production.

Encouraged by Ms. Whitney, student productions often tackle difficult social issues while offering ideas that will promote positive social change. Viewers can’t help but be genuinely impressed by the students’ video production skills, and truly inspired by their empathy and compassion. In fact, in competition with schools from throughout San Diego County, Mission Middle School’s videographers have won the prestigious Public Service Announcement Award at the Innovative Video in Education (iVIE) awards a record eight years in a row!

As 8th graders, these very talented students continue to hone their writing, editing, directing, and production skills to produce an entire season — 25 complete video episodes — of MTV. Then, as each season draws to a close, preparations begin for the annual end-of-year film festival — the Wildcademy Awards (a hybrid of Wildcat and Academy) — where the creative talents, hard work, and dedication of MTV’s cast and crew are honored and celebrated in style!

However, the awards don’t stop there…

Mission’s video production students have earned a total of twenty-five iVIE awards including four Grand Recognition Awards (best of the best) in the middle school category! They’ve also gone on to win many other video contests and grants at the local, county, state and even national levels.

Mission Television teacher Tamara Whitney poses with her students after winning big at the 2016 iVIE awards

Mission Television teacher Tamara Whitney poses with her students after winning big at the 2016 iVIE awards

While the awards and recognition have been rewarding, perhaps nothing has been more rewarding than the sense of personal accomplishment MTV participants have experienced in this wonderful program. In fact, many of Mission’s former MTV students credit their motivational MTV classes for their subsequent academic and career successes.

One such student is Ranger Saldivar, who went on to study at UCLA. His words reflect the thoughts and feelings of many MTV graduates: “This class was a stepping stone in my future. MTV was a huge life changer. It’s a class I will never forget.”

And, while the beloved Ms. Whitney is thrilled to see the impact she and her classes have had on her MTV students, she humbly adds:

“I don’t really teach video… I use video to teach. I want to teach students to not only have a voice, but how to use it to make a change! Very honestly, students are teaching me just as much as I’m teaching them. My students’ stories inspire me. They move me. They drive me not only to think differently, but to simply be a better person.”

EUSD is very proud of the Mission Middle School MTV program. Ms. Whitney, and her very talented and empathetic students, truly inspire us all!

A few samples that highlight MTV’s amazing work:

Channel 4 San Diego

This segment produced by Channel 4 provides a behind-the-scenes look into the work and process at Mission Television:

Mission Television Gives Back

This documentary about Mission Television and its service to the community was an honorable mention at the 2015 White House Film Festival:

Big Bank Bully

This fun TV commercial for San Diego County Credit Union was the $3,000 winner of the RedEye contest in the 2016 iVIE Awards, beating out competing entries from both middle and high schools in San Diego County. In July 2016, it aired as an actual commercial on NBC 7 San Diego!

Manny Can!

This movie about Mission Television student Manny B. was the winning entry in the Grades 6–8 Documentary category at the 2016 iVIE Awards:

Going Home

This documentary was a 2014 iVIE Grand Recognition winner, and California Student Media Festival winner. Written, filmed, and edited by an 8th grade student, it highlights the cultural conflict many of our students experience as they are torn between two cultures:

Like Mission Television on Facebook

Spotlight on Jo-Ann Fox

At EUSD, we have an incredible teaching staff — including many who have won local, state, and national awards of excellence. We’d like to shine the spotlight on one of those amazing educators: Jo-Ann Fox.

Jo-Ann’s resume reads like a “Who’s Who” of education:

  • She has been a San Diego County Teacher of the Year and a California Teacher of the Year semi-finalist
  • She has served on a California state technology advisory board
  • She is a Google for Education Certified Innovator
  • She is the Co-Founder and Moderator of California Edchat, a statewide Twitter chat that occurs weekly

These are just a few of her career highlights!

Most recently, Jo-Ann was awarded the Classroom of the Future Foundation’s Innovative Teacher Award, sponsored by San Diego Computer-Using Educators, for her leadership in designing and implementing EUSD’s newest school of choice, Quantum Academy.

When asked how she embodies the “Innovator’s Mindset,” Jo-Ann said:

“Two and a half years ago, leaders in EUSD asked me a career-transforming question: ‘Would you be interested in helping to design a new, innovative school for EUSD?’ Never in my life have I been so challenged to be a problem-finder and research what might transform learning environments for students. Through empathy I was able to seek new questions about the design of school, classrooms, and lessons. As I walk into the very school I helped to research and design, I am beyond honored to see our idea of what a school might be come to life through project-based learning, design thinking, STEAM learning, and the creative use of 1:1 technology.”

This spotlight is just the beginning…

Our new website will allow us to shine a light on a number of wonderful EUSD people and programs, including teachers, staff, administrators, volunteers, donors, alumni, and of course, our amazing students! More spotlight articles will be published throughout the year. Stay tuned…

Superintendent’s Message: Welcome to the 2016–2017 school year!

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to the 2016-17 school year! We hope you had a fantastic summer and are ready for a productive and rewarding year. Here at the Escondido Union School District our vision is that we will “actualize the unlimited potential of every learner.” In order to realize our vision, our district has adopted the following four focus goals:

  1. Provide a high quality and rigorous instructional program;
  2. Build a collaborative culture, which promotes creativity, responsibility, and trust;
  3. Ensure our students, staff, and all stakeholders are safe and secure; and
  4. Remain fiscally solvent.

With these focus goals in mind, we are very excited to provide a more comprehensive intervention program which addresses social emotional support as well as academic support. This year through funding provided by our Local Control Funding Formula, we are able to provide a Physical Education teacher at every one of our sites. Additionally all our sites have a full-time Social Worker, a Family Liaison, and an intervention teacher to provide additional support to your children’s needs. Through a systemic system of support, our plan is to ensure that every child receive a quality educational program.

Through the generous support of our Proposition E Bond Measure, we are excited to continue with our modernization projects that began last summer at Central, Mission Middle, Orange Glen, and Quantum Academy. Much work is being done at each of these sites to take care of the aged facility infrastructure.

With safety on the forefront of everyone’s minds, I want to reassure all of you that we will continue to keep safety and security as one of our main priorities to the extent that all of our teachers and staff will be trained on responding to various emergency scenarios to include an active shooter.

Lastly, as we begin this school year, please take a moment to establish a clear line of communication with your child’s teacher, as this will be critical to your child’s success.

On behalf of the Board of Education and myself, I officially welcome you to the 2016-17 school year!

Dr. Luis Ibarra, EUSD Superintendent

Dr. Luis Ibarra, Superintendent

Welcome to our new website

After months of hard work, the new EUSD website is finally here! The process began in early 2016 when we solicited feedback from a number of parent, teacher, and staff groups to learn about their needs. We also analyzed statistics from the existing website to learn what was most popular.

The website you’re currently viewing is the end result of that research-driven process, and we’re incredibly proud of how it turned out. Here are some of the most important features:

  • Audience-based customization
    The days of the cluttered, single-purpose home page are over. Now, every major audience that EUSD serves has a customized home page of its own. For example, let’s say you’re a parent: By visiting the Parents & Families home page, you’ll see only the information and links that are most relevant and helpful to you.
  • Mobile-friendly design
    No more “pinching and zooming” on smartphones. Now, eusd.org utilizes a 100% responsive, app-like design. That means that the website “shape shifts” to accommodate any size screen, from a 4-inch iPhone to a 27″ iMac. Fonts are beautiful and readable on every device.
  • Advanced search
    Our new search not only searches for pages on eusd.org — it also searches for events in our new Event Calendar, articles in our new News & Announcements section, school campus home pages, and even login portals for systems like PowerSchool and Google Apps.
  • A more powerful calendar
    Our new Event Calendar is also mobile friendly with list and month views that display beautifully on mobile phones. Most importantly, the calendar is full of major dates and events — from major holidays and back to school nights, to testing dates and board meetings. And we’re just getting started: Additional events will be added in the coming weeks.
  • Spanish translation
    Many websites utilize automated computer translation systems like Google Translate — but they’re not always accurate. That’s why we decided to incorporate actual human-written translations on the new eusd.org. We’re starting small with a new Spanish homepage and a few of the most important subpages on the site translated to Spanish. In the coming weeks, more and more human-translated Spanish pages will be published to eusd.org.
  • A focus on good news, strengths & signature programs
    We heard you loud and clear: You want EUSD to take a more active role in promoting itself and all of its wonderful people and programs. Our new News & Announcements system will allow us to do just that through weekly articles, including a Spotlight series that will share the stories of some of our amazing people and programs. In addition, our new Why EUSD section is similar to the admissions website of a university — a central place where prospective EUSD parents can go to learn about our strengths and signature programs, and easily enroll their son or daughter online.

Questions or comments?

Today’s website launch is just the beginning. We will continue to improve eusd.org in the coming weeks, and we will be adding new content throughout the school year. If you have a question, comment, or suggestion related to the new site, please send it to us via email by using this form: