South Whittier School District’s Superintendent, Dr. Gary Gonzales, held a Coffee with the Superintendent event on Wednesday, October 30, at the district office to share with parents and the community about what is happening within the district and to give parents an opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns, and share suggestions.
Dr. Gonzales opened the event by greeting attendees and introducing the district’s school board members and Cabinet. He then shared the district’s motto which is “Success for Every Student” and explained that this is South Whittier’s philosophy and expressed the importance of schools and families working together to ensure the best possible education for all students.
Attendees then got to hear a presentation that included highlights and information of things going on in the district. This included the Dual Language Immersion program at McKibben Elementary and Los Altos, student’s recent CAASPP scores, which has seen three consecutive years of score growth, new electives at Graves Middle School including journalism, a Health Academy, and Spanish classes, and the culture and climate that SWSD is striving to create. Dr. Gonzales shared about professional development that all SWSD teachers and staff took part in called Capturing Kids Hearts. This training has the philosophy that if you capture a student’s heart you will capture their mind.
If a student feels welcome at school they’ll learn better,” Dr. Gonzales stated.
He went on to share about other important district information including school liaisons, a recent mailer, social media, LCAP, summer school, and the district’s spelling bee. He talked about the importance of offering a variety of activities for students and allowing students to take part in competing with other students from other areas.
“We want to engage them in fun activities but also activities that stretch their minds.”
After his presentation Dr. Gonzales opened it up for parent Q and A.
“Hearing your voice is the most important thing. Every single adult in this district and every single employee in this district, it is our job to meet the needs of our kids and our families. You are important. Everyone of you are important so please share ‘this is the experience I had’ so we can correct it,” Dr. Gonzales stated.
Parents were able to ask the superintendent questions and voice concerns. They were also given information about who they can contact directly to assure that problems are addressed. Some parents also shared about the growth they’ve seen and the positive experiences they have had in the district.
This is the second Coffee with the Superintendent event the district has held and the Superintendent shared that he plans on hosting another one later this school year.